AUSTIN, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE:HRL) today announced it has closed on the acquisition of Justin’s, LLC (Justin’s), owner of the Justin’s® brand and a pioneer in nut butter-based snacking. Justin’s markets four successful nut butter-based snack lines – spreads, squeeze packs, peanut butter cups and snack packs. Hormel Foods was advised by HT Capital Advisors, and Piper Jaffray & Co. was the exclusive advisor to Justin’s.
In addition, the companies jointly announced the appointment of Michael J. Guanella as chief operating officer of Justin’s. Guanella is currently a senior brand manager at Hormel Foods responsible for Skippy® peanut butter. He led the integration of the Skippy® brand in 2013 and has been responsible for brand strategy, consumer marketing and product innovation in the U.S. retail market. Most recently, Guanella led the innovation and launch of Skippy® P.B. Bites. Over his nine-year career at Hormel Foods, Guanella has held leadership roles in data analytics and business development as well as product management roles. Prior to joining Hormel Foods, he spent time in information technology leadership positions both in retail and manufacturing, including tenure as a consultant for Deloitte and Touche. Guanella holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton College in International Relations and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.
“We are excited to welcome Mike to the Justin’s team,” said Peter Burns, president and chief executive officer at Justin’s. “Mike’s expertise in innovation, operations and product development will be a welcome addition to our mission. We are confident that he will bring new opportunities to the Justin’s family of products.”
“Mike has led the Skippy® brand to a new level of innovation, growth and market share. Congratulations to him on this new role with Justin’s. I am confident that he will be an excellent addition to their talented team of professionals,” said James M. Splinter, group vice president of Grocery Products at Hormel Foods.
About Hormel Foods
Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. Hormel Foods, which leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring branded, value-added products to the global marketplace, will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2016. The company is a member of the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index, S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, and was named one of “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the eighth year in a row. Hormel Foods also received a perfect score on the 2016 Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, was recognized on the 2016 Best for Vets Employers List by Military Times, and was named one of the 2016 Best Companies for Leaders by Chief Executive magazine. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit http://www.hormelfoods.com and http://2014csr.hormelfoods.com/.
Justin’s makes naturally delicious, high-quality nut butters, nut butter snacks and organic peanut butter cups that deliver great taste, unique texture and convenient nutrition. Established in 2004 in the home kitchen of health enthusiast Justin Gold, Justin’s supports an on-the-go lifestyle and strives to make a difference everywhere, basing its values on four fundamental pillars: Nourish, Nurture, Inspire and Educate. The first brand to market nut butters in single-serve squeeze packs, Justin’s nut butters are finely crafted with a one-of-a-kind grinding process to create an exceptional texture and flavor experience. All seven varieties offer 4-8 grams of protein per serving and are great for snacking anytime of the day. In the confection category, Justin’s Dark, Milk and White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are USDA-certified organic and are made with Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa. And now, perfect for dipping, scooping and devouring, Justin’s Snack Packs are available in three delicious nut butter and pretzel combinations, as well as two peanut butter and banana chip combinations (the first of its kind). For more information, please visit Justin’s at Justins.com, Facebook.com/JustinsNutButter and Instagram.com/Justins.
This news release contains forward-looking information based on management’s current views and assumptions. Actual events may differ materially. Please refer to the cautionary statement regarding Forward-Looking Statements and Risk Factors that appear on pages 30 - 35 in the company’s Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 24, 2016, which can be accessed at www.hormelfoods.com under “Investors-SEC Filings.”