Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although The New York Times – citing people familiar with the matter - reported that it valued KIND at about $5bn.
According to a press release issued this morning, executive chairman Daniel Lubetzky - who founded the New York-based business in 2004 - will retain a financial stake in KIND and will “play a key role" in its future development and expansion.
Best known for its bars featuring whole nuts and pieces of fruit, KIND has moved into multiple snacking categories over the years, and recently moved into new territory with the launch of frozen bars and refrigerated smoothie bowls, with Lubetzky telling the New York Times that sales had increased from $1bn in 2017 to about $1.5bn today.
“I am so proud of how well the Mars and KIND teams have complemented and strengthened each other over the past three years,” said Lubetzky. “We are now well positioned to further advance our efforts and continue building a foremost health and wellness platform.”
Grant F. Reid, CEO of Mars, which generates $40bn in annual sales across confectionery, food, and petcare products and services, said: “When we began this partnership, I said it was one built on mutual admiration and a shared vision for growth.
"After three years, you can see the impact, as together we have grown the healthy snacking category and brought KIND and the KIND Promise to 35 countries and into new categories.”
KIND's latest innovation - Energy bars featuring oats as the first ingredient - contain 35% less sugar than the top-selling energy bar, and should be consumed before physical activity, says the company.
“The higher carb content is meant to help your body utilize the energy most eciently to optimize performance, not to sit around.”
Available at www.kindsnacks.com and retailers nationwide ( $1.39-$1.69/bar), “KIND Energy is set to reinvent a category that frequently contains higher amounts of sugars along with protein powders or articial sweeteners.”