Laird Superfood Acquires Sports Nutrition Company Picky Bars

Food & Drink

Laird Superfood has acquired sports nutrition company Picky Bars for an undisclosed sum.

The Bend, Oregon-based firm, founded by three professional athletes Lauren Fleshman, Stephanie Bruce, and Jesse Thomas in 2010, offers a line of energy bars, including Ah, Fudge Nuts!, and Blueberry Boomdizzle, as well as PB&J All Day Performance granola, and How ‘Bout Dem Apples Performance oatmeal made with real food ingredients to target athletes and people with an active lifestyle.

The deal with Danone-backed Laird Superfood, which went public last year on NYSE, is expected to enable Picky Bars to leverage its omni-channel platform, helping expand its distribution across the U.S.

Bruce, who is also a two-time U.S. national champion runner, believes this move will make wholesome, read food options more accessible to the public. Cofounder Fleshman added: “With Laird’s resources for responsibly sourced ingredients, we can now strengthen our commitment to creating a positive relationship with food, providing intention in both product creation and consumption.” 

Picky Bars’ subscription program, the Picky Club, also anticipates to support the continued growth of Laird Superfood which has experienced a 98% net sales increase in 2020, reaching $26 million.

“Together, we can get nutritionally balanced options more geographically available, whether it’s experiencing a Laird product for the first time in a Picky Club box or tasting your first Ah, Fudge Nuts! Picky bar from a retailer distributing Laird products,” Bruce said.

Laird Hamilton, the famed big wave surfer who founded the plant-based food company, alongside his wife Gabby Reece, and serial entrepreneur Paul Hodge in 2015, also notes how he’s been impressed by Picky Bars’ business for years. 

“For us, it’s about finding that authentic connection and passion for building delicious, better-for-you that everyone can enjoy, and we see that same drive within Picky Bars,” Hamilton said. “Being able to work alongside them to grow together will make us stronger together.”

Hodge, who’s currently the CEO of Laird Superfood, added: “We believe that Picky Bars produces the best, whole food clean bars in the world… As we start to fill our Daily Ritual program from beverages into whole food items, adding bars rounds out our Laird Superfood approach to offer balanced nutrition and energy throughout the day. 

“Beyond being performance-based, Picky Bars products were designed by three amazing people and accomplished athletes, who, just like us, want to make clean, affordable and accessible options for the masses.

The acquisition of Picky Bars comes amid continued interest in a crowded $10 billion U.S. nutrition bar market, according to Spins data, with JoJé Bar recently snapped up by RoadRunner Holdings in March, following in the footsteps of RXBar, Quest Nutrition, and ONE Brands.

Sports nutrition overall is also expected to grow at a 9.3% CAGR in market value between 2021 and 2028, reaching $33.03 billion in sales by the end of the forecast period, Polaris Market Research showed.

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