Hormel Foods Corp. said today that it would buy Skippy—second only to peanut butter rival Jif in the U.S. while standing No. 1 in China—from Unilever for around $700 million. Austin, Minn.-based Hormel cited a $2 billion peanut butter market with a 74 percent household penetration in the U.S. as the primary strengths of the purchase.
"[The acquisition] allows us to grow our branded presence in the center of the store with a non-meat protein product and it reinforces our balanced portfolio," Ettinger said in a statement. "The fast growing international line will also strengthen our global presence, and should be a useful complement to our sales strategy in China for the Spam family of products."
The 80-year-old peanut butter brand totaled $300 million in sales during 2011, and Ettinger's firm believes it reached $370 million last year. The move appears to signal Hormel's intent to diversify its product portfolio going forward with non-meat items.