Hershey to acquire small meat snack maker

by Keith Nunes
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Krave specializes in premium jerky.

HERSHEY, Pa. — The Hershey Co. has entered into an agreement to acquire Krave Pure Foods, Inc., Sonoma, Calif., a manufacturer of meat jerky products. The transaction will allow Hershey to tap into the meat snacks category and further expand its presence in the snack space, according to the company.

Terms of the agreement were not announced. Krave Foods generated approximately $35 million in sales during the past 12 months, according to data provided by Hershey.

“Krave jerky is a great fit to our portfolio and overall snacks and adjacencies strategy,” said Michele G. Buck, president of North America for The Hershey Co. “The Krave brand delivers on portable and protein nutrition while also understanding consumers’ food preferences, including the desire for simple ingredients and transparency, something that is also a part of Hershey’s strategic vision.”

Founded in 2009 by Jonathan Sebastiani, Krave focuses on premium jerky, a sub-segment of the meat snack category. The snack maker has positioned itself as a supplier of natural products with such distinctive flavor varieties as black cherry barbecue pork jerky, basil citrus turkey jerky, and chili lime beef jerky.

“An important focus of Krave jerky’s business strategy is to push the boundaries within our category and to stay on top of ever-changing consumer needs,” said Sebastiani, CEO of the company. “Joining the Hershey family will extend our resources for innovation and expand Krave jerky’s presence in the larger healthy snacking category.”

The Krave business will operate as a standalone business within Hershey’s North America division, and it will remain headquartered in Sonoma. Sebastiani will continue to lead the business and will report to Buck.

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