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January 22, 2021

US veggie-foods supplier Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods sells majority stake

US private-equity firm Vestar Capital Partners has made a family-owned veggie-foods supplier set up in the 1990s its latest investment.

By Dean Best

Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, the US vegetarian- and vegan-foods business, has sold a majority stake to private-equity firm Vestar Capital Partners.

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The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
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Set up in 1994, Dr. Praeger’s is run by second-generation family members Larry Praeger, the company’s CEO, and Adam Somberg, the New Jersey-based firm’s president. Both men will continue in their current roles and will remain “significant investors” in Dr Praeger’s, a statement announcing the deal read.

The company’s product range includes veggie burgers, meat-alternative options, snacks and sides. Stockists include Kroger, Safeway and Whole Foods Market. 

Somberg said the deal would help fund further innovation. "With Vestar's support, the company aims to launch further product innovations that will continue to deliver healthy, great-tasting foods at an attractive price," he added. "We are fortunate to have some of the most loyal customers in the industry, but with more consumers eating in and looking for better food choices, the timing couldn't be better to team with Vestar to explore ways to expand the brand."

As part of Vestar's investment, Jeffrey Ansell, the chairman of data-and-insights group IRI and an advisor to the private-equity firm, will join the Dr. Praeger's board as chairman. Ansell's career includes a spell as CEO of US food manufacturer Pinnacle Foods (now part of Conagra Brands) and 25 years at Procter & Gamble.

Ansell said: "There's great opportunity to build on this strong foundation and grow the Dr. Praeger's brand through increased awareness, trial, distribution and continued innovation. Vestar has a long history of partnering with companies to strengthen these fundamentals and help position them for greater success."

Vestar's current investments in the food industry include a shareholding in US crackers and cookies business Simple Mills. The company has also invested in US importer Roland Foods and another US baked-goods firm, Nonni's.

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Free Report
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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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