Landec Corporation announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Apio, Inc., has acquired Yucatan Foods, L.P, adding two leading guacamole brands, Yucatan® and Cabo Fresh®, to the Landec Natural Foods portfolio of 100 percent clean ingredient, plant-based brands that also includes Eat Smart® packaged fresh vegetables and salad kits, O Olive Oil and Vinegar®, and Now Planting® pure-plant meal solutions. The move advances the company’s leadership position in the plant-based food category and provides a broad portfolio of products to offer customers to attract the rapidly growing population of plant-forward consumers throughout North America.
The acquisition of Yucatan Foods accelerates the transformation of Landec Natural Foods from a packaged, fresh vegetable business to a branded, natural foods business focused on plant-based foods with 100 percent clean ingredients. Significant growth is expected from the Yucatan and Cabo Fresh brands due to their authentic and flavorful products, as well as tailwinds in the rapidly growing guacamole category. The guacamole category in the U.S. is approximately $375 million in consumer retail dollars and is growing at an estimated 20 percent, according to IRI data for the 52-weeks ended October 7, 2018. Category growth is projected to continue as current household penetration of guacamole is estimated at only 21 percent within the U.S.
“We are excited for the team at Yucatan Foods to join Landec Natural Foods as we create a different kind of food company,” said Molly Hemmeter, President and CEO of Landec Corporation. “At Landec Natural Foods, we are re-imagining the way fresh, plant-based foods are grown, prepared and delivered.”
Rooted in its 27-year-heritage, Yucatan brand guacamole offers traditional, authentic Mexican taste, steeped in honoring the traditions of local people, places and ingredients. Yucatan products are typically sold in the deli section of grocery retail stores. The Cabo Fresh brand targets plant-forward food consumers, with unique blends of fresh ingredients and bold flavors from regions around the world. Look for Cabo Fresh products in the produce section. All products are made with 100 percent clean ingredients, and fresh Haas avocados make up about 95 percent of the total product ingredients list.
Landec’s proprietary research shows that 17 percent of the US population and 23 percent of the Canadian population are plant-forward consumers. Plant-forward consumers are not necessarily vegan or vegetarian, but prefer approximately 70 percent of their meals to be plant-based.
“Plant-forward consumers are currently seeking solutions outside of retail stores – in foodservice, direct-to-consumer meal kits, and home preparation. Our growing portfolio of plant-based products enables us to work strategically with our customers to evolve the fresh perimeter of the store by offering solutions that attract the growing population of plant-forward consumers and bring them back in store,” said Hemmeter.
Landec Natural Foods offers innovative products with 100 percent clean ingredients that provide customers with options to meet the ever-evolving needs of the consumer. Most recent innovations include the Eat Smart nutrient-dense superfood salads, such as the Sweet Kale Salad, the single-serve Salad Shake-Ups®, O artisan olive oils and vinegars and Now Planting pure-plant soups.
“The acquisition of Yucatan Foods provides Landec Natural Foods with on-trend products that consumers are craving. In addition to new guacamole recipes, Yucatan recently launched its Guac-N-Chips product, meeting the needs of the on-the-go consumer, and avocado butter products. The addition of Yucatan Foods not only broadens our plant-based product offering, but enhances the Landec Natural Foods capabilities within sales, customer service, supply chain and innovation to better serve our customers for the long-term,” concluded Hemmeter.
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