What happens when a 34 billion dollar corporation takes interest in the top food allergen-free industry? We’ll soon find out. Mondelez International has just announced the acquisition of Enjoy Life Foods. Mondelez is the oomph behind famous brands ranging from Oreo to Cadbury, Nabisco to Philadelphia Cream Cheese. They aren’t pillars of nutrition, but let’s face it, Enjoy Life has an indulgent side. What the smaller company’s loyal following is more concerned about is allergen-safety.
Enjoy Life Maintains Allergy-Friendly Facility Despite Big Corp Buyout
Enjoy Life Foods runs their own dedicated facility with some of the strictest protocols in the industry for keeping products free of nuts, dairy, gluten, soy and other top allergens. Should consumers be concerned about safety? It’s too soon to say. But if the recent history of natural food acquisitions repeats, Enjoy Life will likely benefit from the economies of scale that Mondelez can offer. Most mega-corps are simply offering support, and are letting their successful purchases run business as usual.
According to Joel Warady, Chief Marketing Officer of Enjoy Life Foods, “One of the unique parts of the acquisition is that we’re going to remain employees of Enjoy Life Foods and all members of the team are planning on remaining.”
A multinational corporation can bring greater distribution, better marketing reach, and more funds for research and development. But why would they go after an allergen-free company only to strip them of their allergy protocols? Warady seems to confirm this. He says their demand and sales continue to grow at rapid rates, but they haven’t been able to respond yet with sufficient distribution. He indicated that Mondelez will offer them the ability to expand internationally, obtain better shelf space, and increase innovation. As a preview, Enjoy Life is planning to announce a new product line at the upcoming Expo West natural food show.
There are plenty of snack food companies available to acquire, but Mondelez seems to be taking an interest in the allergen-free market specifically. Several other large corporations have learned to take a hands off approach when purchasing well-respected natural food companies. For the sake of the food allergy community, we hope this rings true in the long run for Enjoy Life, too.
Update: Enjoy Life Opens a New Facility
In 2016, Enjoy Life was able to build North America’s largest allergy-friendly bakery. Thanks to their parent company, they now have a 200,000 square foot facility.