Unilever has signed an agreement to acquire US supplements business Onnit for an undisclosed sum.
Texas-based Onnit, described by Unilever as a “holistic wellness and lifestyle company,” was founded in 2010 by Aubrey Marcus. Its “alpha product” is Alpha Brain, a brain supplement (nootropic) which, it is suggested, can help to bring forth better memory, focus and mental processing.
Onnit also offers a range of packaged-food products, including Fatbutter nut spreads, as well as snack lines such as Protein Bites and Protein Power Puffs.
Its products – which also include sports nutrition supplements such as creatine and glutamine, as well as products to aid sleep – can be found in stores including Whole Foods Market and Sprouts. They are also sold by online retailers including Amazon. The company also sells sports equipment.
Peter ter Kulve, president of two businesses – health well-being and home care – at Unilever, said: "Onnit is a leading brand in the fast-growing nootropics segment. With its holistic health offering and digital-first model, Onnit perfectly complements our growing portfolio of innovative wellness and supplement brands that include Olly Equilibra, Liquid I.V., and SmartyPants Vitamins."
The deal follows other recent acquisitions Unilever has made of businesses offering vitamins and supplements. In November, the Magnum ice-cream maker bought US-based SmartyPants Vitamins. In April 2019, Unilever snapped up Olly Nutrition, a US business supplying products from vitamins to protein powders and snack bars.
Onnit's Marcus said: "Since day one, my vision has been for Onnit to become a global movement, empowering people with the tools and information to reach their highest physical and mental potential. I am so proud of what we have accomplished, and now, with Unilever's scale and presence, we are one step closer to inspiring millions more to take charge of their health and well-being."
Onnit will continue to be based in the Texan city of Austin and led by CEO Jason Havey. Founder Marcus will remain a brand ambassador.
Earlier today (26 April), Nestlé confirmed media reports that it is in talks to acquire The Bountiful Company, a US-based manufacturer of vitamins and supplements majority-owned by private-equity firm KKR.