Mars will acquire a majority stake in the owner of Tasty Bite – a brand of ready-to-heat Indian and Asian food products.
The deal for Connecticut-based Preferred Brands International complements Mars’ existing products in the rice and grains, sauces, and meal kit categories – including Uncle Ben’s rice and Dolmio pasta sauce. It will also add to Mars’ Asian food brands Kan Tong and Suzi Wan.
The Tasty Bite line-up consists of a variety of microwaveable food products – including rice, noodles, Indian entrées like spinach dal and Bombay potatoes, as well as Thai entrées such as penang ginger curry and Bangkok-style vegetables.
Mars Food global president Fiona Dawson said: “Tasty Bite’s broad range of dinner-time products, focused on Indian and Asian cuisines, makes it a natural complement to our existing portfolio. Tasty Bite is a fast-growing Indian/Asian dinner time brand.
“Upon closing of the acquisition of Tasty Bite, Mars Food will expand our all-natural vegetarian offerings in the US, and leverage Tasty Bite’s strong product development pipeline, flavour expertise, and strategic sourcing of quality ingredients throughout our portfolio.”
Tasty Bite operates a manufacturing facility in Pune, India, from where it exports the majority of its products to the US. It also has a lesser retail presence in the UK and Australia, as well as a ‘significant foodservice business’ serving food manufacturers and restaurants in India.
Mars said that Tasty Bite’s Indian subsidiary will continue to be listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange after the acquisition.
It said that Tasty Bite, much like Mars Food, was a “strong food business focused on delivering healthy, tasty, and convenient foods that bring inspiration and enjoyment to the world’s dinner table”.
Tasty Bite CEO Ashok Vasudevan added: “We’re thrilled to be joining the Mars Food family. The nearly quarter century of uninterrupted growth of Tasty Bite since its inception was powered by our deep commitment to sustainable practices and to the pursuit of consumer delight.
“Mars is one of the largest food companies in the world and a recognised leader and role model for corporate sustainability. Mars Foods’ strong brand portfolio, global infrastructure, and shared values makes it well-positioned to take Tasty Bite to the next level.”
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the fourth quarter of the year. Financial details were not disclosed.
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