CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. has entered an agreement to acquire East Brunswick, N.J.-based Ecce Panis, Inc., a maker of handcrafted, stone-baked artisan bread that is sold primarily through in-store bakeries and grocery chains in the United States. Once the transaction is completed later this spring Campbell said it plans to operate Ecce Panis as a distinct brand within its Pepperidge Farm portfolio. "The acquisition of Ecce Panis is consistent with our strategy to drive growth in our core categories through strategic acquisitions and outside partnerships," said Douglas R. Conant, president and chief executive officer of Campbell. "Artisan bread represents one of the fastest growing segments of the bakery category, and I am confident that we can leverage our sales and marketing capabilities to expand the availability of Ecce Panis products and complement our existing bakery business." Founded in 1988, Ecce Panis operates an 113,000-square-foot bakery in East Brunswick and has 115 employees.
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