Unilever, the world’s largest ice-cream maker, has extended its portfolio of frozen desserts with the acquisition of US frozen Greek yogurt brand Yasso.

The consumer goods giant has snapped up Colorado-based Yasso for an undisclosed fee.

Unilever said the deal aligns with its “premiumisation strategy” for its ice cream business, with Yasso joining brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Talenti.

Matt Close, president of ice cream at Unilever, said Yasso has built a strong customer appeal in the “fast-growing, premium ‘better for you’ segment”.

He stated: “This acquisition is a great step in the evolution of our ice cream portfolio in North America towards high-growth spaces. I am confident that with the full support of Unilever behind Yasso, we will take this fast-growing business to even greater heights.”

Founded in 2009 by Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington, Yasso offers novelty stick bars, chocolate crunch bars, frozen Greek yogurt sandwiches, bite-size Yasso Poppables and Yasso Mochi, all of which can be found at grocery and club stores in the US.

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In a joint statement, Klane and Harrington said: “With Unilever, we have selected the best partner in the world, who believes in Yasso’s vision and purpose of spreading joy to consumers everywhere.”

Craig Shiesley, who was appointed Yasso CEO in 2019, added: “We are excited to join Unilever and become part of the world-renowned family of ice cream and novelties brands. I’m proud of our company growth and we look forward to working with Unilever to expand the global footprint of our incredible brand.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

In December, Bloomberg reported Unilever was working with advisors to explore the potential sale of ice-cream brands in the US such as Klondike and Breyers. At the time, Unilever declined to comment.

Potential asset disposals had been the subject of some debate since Unilever reorganised its business divisions in January last year, with ice cream spun off into a standalone arm outside of food and refreshments.

Speaking last November, Close said there was “no reason to believe” a sale of the division could be on the horizon.

“The ice cream business is a big global business and actually if you look at single-category positions, ice cream is our biggest… Unilever loves scale. It loves businesses that can drive value creation and it loves businesses that can really underpin our compass and sustainability commitments.”