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Kraft to sell majority stake in natural-food brand to Brynwood Partners

BY Melissa Valliant

Confectionary, food and beverage conglomerate Kraft Foods is selling part of its natural food products line, Back to Nature, to private-equity firm Brynwood Partners.

While Kraft has sold two other brands to Brynwood, it’s keeping a minority stake — reported to be between a quarter and a half, according to Dow Jones— in the Back to Nature line, which currently includes crackers, cookies, granola and trail mixes that contain less-processed ingredients.

Brynwood Partners focuses on acquiring smaller, overlooked brands from large corporations, and has acquired three dozen from various corporate sellers, including two other brands from Kraft. Though the financial terms of the Back to Nature deal were not disclosed, Brynwood Partners typically acquires brands for less than $125 million.

Kraft will have board representation in the joint venture held between the two companies, but Brynwood will manage everyday affairs.

"Back to Nature does not have the kind of scale for us that will get it the resources that could get it the growth that it should," Kraft spokesman Michael Mitchell said.

Brynwood senior managing partner Henk Hartong III plans to bring more new products and more focused marketing to Back to Nature, seeing potential for expansion into salty snacks and frozen foods.

Back to Nature’s sales are between $50 million and $75 million a year, but its sales of cookies, crackers and trail mix have seen a 20% annual boost over the past three years, Mitchell said.

Once Kraft spins off its North American grocery business, Kraft Foods Group, on Oct. 1, its Back to Nature stake will become part of Kraft’s global snacks company Mondelez International. Kraft Foods Group will also be selling the Back to Nature macaroni and cheese product under a licensing deal.

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GG Gatsby inks retail partnerships with Target.com, Walmart.com

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — GG Gatsby is collaborating with Target.com and Walmart.com to launch its new volumizing hair care line.

These are the first retail collaborations for the brand, and the partnerships enable the brand to bring its hair care line to a new mass demographic.

GG Gatsby was created by Gayle Giacomo, star of The Style Network’s "Jerseylicious" and owner of The Gatsby Salon. Giacomo’s vision was to create a line with which hair can be lifted to new heights and volumized directly at the root for supreme fullness and long-lasting hold. The "Ooh la la Volume" collection, manufactured by CAG Beauty, contains five volumizing products, each with unique lifting technology.

 

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Study: More men are investing in high-end skin care products

BY Antoinette Alexander

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — Sales of men’s skin care products are on the rise as men grow increasingly concerned with looking good from head to toe and show a willingness to invest in high-end skin care, according to recent research by market research firm the NPD Group.

On track with the sales in the men’s current retail business, men’s skin care sales increased 6% year-to-date (January through July) 2012, compared with the same time last year, generating $45.5 million. In addition, NPD found that at least seven out of 10 men are buying facial skin care products for themselves.


“The growth in men’s skin care sales echoes the strong performance in the overall prestige beauty market,” stated Karen Grant, VP and senior global industry analyst for The NPD Group.  “As seen in many beauty departments, products like facial moisturizers and eye treatments can be found next to the basic bar soap and shaving cream.”



All men’s segments posted increases in dollars in the first seven months of the year, versus January through July of 2011, with four exceeding the overall category performance: Sets and kits (up 11%), body (up 14%), sun (up 27%) and hair (up 8%). Face was the only category that did not outperform the total, but captured the lion’s share of the men’s business, totaling 81% dollar share. The face segment generated $36.7 million and increased 5% year-to-date 2012.



“Many men are catching up to women with embracing the routine of a facial skin care regimen. The double-digit increase in sets and kits, which are often introductory products, is quite promising leading us to believe that more and more men are conquering the facial skin care frontier,” stated Grant.



Among the top 10 men’s sub-segments, six outperformed the category: facial moisturizers (up 7%), eye treatment (up 16%), all other body (up 13%), body cleansers (up 16%), and all other face (up 30%). For the first time in the last four years, the sub-segment of age specialist declined in both dollar (down 21%) and unit growth (down 25%).



The overall best-selling men’s skincare products for year-to-date 2012 were Clinique’s Skin Supplies for Men Face Scrub 3.4 oz., followed by Skin Supplies for Men: Lotion tube, another Clinique best seller.

“With substantial growth in a number of smaller categories, it seems that men are stepping out of their comfort zone even further to try the latest skincare innovations,” added Grant. “Men are purchasing toners and clarifiers to brightening specialists and ‘In Sun’ protection products, making it quite an interesting time for men’s grooming products.”

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