ConAgra acquires snack and nutrition bar maker

by Eric Schroeder
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OMAHA — ConAgra Foods, Inc. has acquired Elan Nutrition from an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc. Based in Grand Rapids, Mich., Elan is a privately-held formulator and manufacturer of snack and nutrition bars. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

ConAgra, which currently manufactures private label bars at its facility in Lakeville, Minn., said the Elan Nutrition business will be managed as part of ConAgra Foods’ snacks platform and integrated specifically into its store brands business, which primarily makes cereal and snack bars under retailer labels. Elan’s Grand Rapids manufacturing facility was included in the transaction and will operate as a ConAgra Foods plant, the company added.

“Acquiring Elan Nutrition allows us to continue growing and expanding our very successful snack bar business within our Consumer Foods portfolio,” said Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods. “We are confident in the growth of this important category and expect a smooth integration of Elan Nutrition’s business and capabilities into our snacks platform.”

Founded in 1980 as a maker of nutritional snacks for the local market, Elan Nutrition has evolved into a national manufacturer of nutritional bars serving the sports, health and wellness, meal replacement, and nutraceuticals markets. Elan is partnered with several bar marketers such as: ZonePerfect, NBTY brands MetRX Big 100, Pure Protein and Protein Plus, EAS brands — Complete Nutrition and Myoplex, Weight Watchers, and Iovate brands — Nitrotech and Mesotech.

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