General Mills’ Acquisition of Annie’s Underscores Profitability of Natural and Organic Food Products

Press Release
Sep 11, 2014
Rockville (MD), September 11, 2014 — General Mills’ $820 million acquisition of specialty food maker Annie’s on September 8 underscores the growing profitability and popularity of natural and organic food products. The move allows Annie’s to leverage General Mills resources to strengthen its position among leading natural and organic manufacturers.

“Looking ahead, the acquisition will ideally translate into Annie’s quickly expanding into new channels and product lines, an endeavor that would only further drive growth in an already booming food industry segment,” says David Sprinkle, research director for market research firm Packaged Facts, which published Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition. The report can be found at:

General Mills’ maneuver is the latest in a series of recent mergers and acquisitions that bring more natural and organic marketers under the ownership of larger corporations. The moves allow large marketers to polish their “green” image and expand their brand portfolios into faster-growing, higher margin segments. Previously in 2014, Hillshire Brands Co., the Hain Celestial Group, and Boulder Brands, Inc. were among the larger companies making headlines with their acquisitions.

At $54 billion, retail sales of natural and organic foods and beverages in the U.S. are 53% higher than sales five years ago, according to Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition. Packaged Facts projects that the retail market for natural and organic foods and beverages will grow by 62% between 2014 and 2019, with total annual sales advancing to $87 billion in 2019.

Fresh produce is expected to account for the largest share of natural and organic foods, followed by dairy products (including milk and milk alternatives, yogurt, and eggs) and then by beverages (including coffee, tea, and juices). Packaged and prepared foods such as those produced by Annie’s are expected to account for about 10% of the market’s sales. It will be interesting to see how the company utilizes its newfound association with General Mills to potentially introduce new products that could drives sales of packaged and prepared natural and organic foods over the next several years.

For more information on Natural and Organic Foods and Beverages in the U.S., 4th Edition and other reports in Packaged Facts’ industry-leading catalog of market research reports please visit:

About Packaged Facts -- Packaged Facts, a division of, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer market topics, including consumer demographics and shopper insights, consumer financial products and services, consumer goods and retailing, consumer packaged goods, and pet products and services. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. To learn more, visit: Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

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Daniel Alexander Granderson

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