Campbell to Acquire Garden Fresh Gourmet, Adding Salsa to Lineup

Campbell Soup Co. is adding some spice to its product line.

The soup company has agreed to buy Garden Fresh Gourmet for $231 million, acquiring the No. 1 refrigerated salsa brand, according to a statement on Tuesday. Garden Fresh also makes hummus and tortilla chips.

Campbell is the latest packaged-food company to use acquisitions to add more up-to-date products and reinvigorate sales. Hormel Foods Corp., the producer of Spam, announced plans last month to buy natural-sausage maker Applegate Farms LLC for about $775 million. General Mills Inc. agreed to buy Annie’s Inc. last year for about $820 million, helping the Cheerios maker push into organic snacks and pastas.

“Garden Fresh Gourmet will allow the Campbell Fresh division to expand in the deli section of the grocery store perimeter,” Jeff Dunn, who runs the company’s Fresh division, said in the statement. “It is a logical extension of our fresh food and beverage platform that resonates with today’s consumers.”

So-called packaged fresh foods, which includes refrigerated salsa, is a $19 billion-plus market that grew 4.9 percent in the past year, the company said. Campbell’s top line could use the boost. Its total revenue is projected to drop 2 percent this fiscal year as fewer Americans frequent the soup aisle.

Garden Fresh posted $100 million in net sales last year, according to Campbell. Including the acquisition, its total Fresh business will now generate more than $1 billion a year. The division also includes Bolthouse Farms carrots and refrigerated soups.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE