WhiteWave Foods Buys So Delicious for $195 Million

By Jill Ettinger

WhiteWave Foods Co., the parent brand to Silk nondairy milks, has acquired So Delicious Dairy Free for $195 million in cash. The frozen nondairy dessert maker now gives WhiteWave entry into the growing frozen food category.

So Delicious is best known for its frozen desserts including ice creams and specialty frozen treats. WhiteWave, which is best known for its Silk brand of nondairy milks, has been criticized for replacing organic ingredients with conventional ones in recent years, without updating packaging. Horizon was also accused of similar behavior with packaged macaroni and cheese products that boasted the Horizon label but were not 100 percent organic.

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“The acquisition of So Delicious represents a great addition to the WhiteWave portfolio and fits squarely within our strategy of driving growth in our core businesses,” Gregg Engles, chairman and chief executive officer of WhiteWave said in Food Business News. “So Delicious is an outstanding company and a unique player in the plant-based food and beverage arena, with consumers seeking out the brand for a broad range of great-tasting, dairy-free beverages, creamers and cultured products. So Delicious is also recognized as the No. 1 plant-based frozen dessert brand in the United States, and it will provide WhiteWave entry into the growing, plant-based frozen dessert category.”

Chuck Marcy, chief executive officer of So Delicious Dairy Free, said that “For over 25 years, So Delicious has been dedicated to making delicious and responsible, 100% plant-based, non-G.M.O. foods and beverages,” he said . “WhiteWave shares our passion for uncompromising commitment to non-G.M.O. integrity, environmental stewardship and sustainability. This combination will give us an opportunity to grow our portfolio of dairy-free solutions, and introduce the benefits of dairy-free living to more families.”

“Simply stated, we believe this is a compelling acquisition that will add a highly complementary brand to WhiteWave’s product portfolio and position us to drive additional shareholder value,” said Engels.

The sale of So Delicious is the latest natural food business to be bought up by a big food conglomerate. WhiteWave also owns Horizon, Earthbound Farm and Land O’ Lakes (beverages).Annie’s Homegrown was recently purchased by General Mills for more than $800 million.

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