Mars Food to buy Tasty Bite maker Preferred Brands
Bengaluru: Mars Food, a unit of American chocolatier Mars Inc., said it has agreed to acquire another US-based firm that makes ready-to-eat products—Preferred Brands International.
Preferred Brands, which sells its products under the brand name Tasty Bite, also runs an Indian subsidiary called Tasty Bite Eatables Ltd and manufactures its products at a facility located in Pune.
Tasty Bite Eatables is listed on BSE and will continue to be listed after the acquisition is completed, Mars Food said in a statement on Monday. Mars Food did not disclose the deal amount but said it is expected to close by the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
Mars Food sells ready-to-eat products, dry rice, sauces, meal kits and spices under brands such as Uncle Ben’s, MasterFoods and Dolmio. Tasty Bite has similar offerings but with a focus on vegetarian food and Indian and other Asian cuisines.
“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,” Fiona Dawson, global president of Mars Food, said in a statement.
A majority of Preferred Brands’ sales comes from North America but the firm also manufactures products that are sold in the UK, Australia and India. Most of the products made at its Pune facility are exported to the US.
In India, Preferred Brands sells its products to other food manufacturers and quick-service restaurants. That part of its business, called Tasty Bite Foodservice, is headquartered in India and its products range from sauces to frozen food like patties, appetizers and meals.
“Mars Foods’ strong brand portfolio, global infrastructure, and shared values make it well-positioned to take Tasty Bite to the next level,” Tasty Bite chief executive officer Ashok Vasudevan said in the statement.