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Unilever grows ice cream portfolio

The company indulges in better-for-you frozen treats with Yasso acquisition.
Yasso frozen treats
Yasso frozen treats

Unilever has entered into an agreement to acquire Yasso Holding, Inc., a premium frozen Greek yogurt brand. 

The U.S.-based frozen yogurt brand was founded in 2009 by childhood best friends Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington. The company is a pioneer in convenient frozen snacks. Through the acquisition, Unilever will expand its offering with Yasso’s high-quality range of low-calorie frozen yogurt snacks. 

“I am delighted to welcome Yasso to the Unilever family. It has built a strong customer appeal in the fast-growing, premium ‘Better For You’ segment,” says Matt Close, president of ice cream at Unilever. “This acquisition is a great step in the evolution of our Ice Cream portfolio in North America towards high growth spaces. I am confident that with the full support of Unilever behind Yasso, we will take this fast-growing business to even greater heights.”

Yasso’s products respond to demand in North America for on-the-go, healthier and indulgent frozen snacks, according to Unilever. Yasso’s current frozen yogurts each contain less than 150 calories.  

"We are forever grateful for the team members, consumers, and business partners who supported us along this entrepreneurial journey. With Unilever, we have selected the best partner in the world, who believes in Yasso's vision and purpose of spreading joy to consumers everywhere,” say Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington, co-founders of Yasso.

[Read more: "Consumers crave chocolate, but want healthier options"]

“We are excited to join Unilever and become part of the world renowned family of Ice Cream and Novelties brands. I’m proud of our company growth and we look forward to working with Unilever to expand the global footprint of our incredible brand,” says Craig Shiesley, CEO of Yasso.

In a statement from Unilever, the company says this new acquisition lines with the strategy of Unilever’s Ice Cream Business Group. The group of ice cream brands includes iconic brands like Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Talenti, staples in c-store freezers. 

Early last year, Unilever’s ice cream division made headlines after analysts said the company was considering the sale of its U.S. Ice Cream brands division. Last year, Bloomberg valued the collective brands at $3 billion. 

[Read more: "Forecasting demand: ice cream sales spike in winter"]

In November, president of the division, Matt Close, told journalists that, “the ice cream business is a big global business and actually if you look at single-category positions, ice cream is our biggest.” According to Global Food Industry News, who reported the story in November, Close made the comment to journalists during a trip to a Unilever R&D facility in England. 

Ferrero
Ferrero

Since the rumours, Unilever has continued to grow its ice cream division, with this latest acquisition of Yasso adding to its portfolio in the frozen snacks category. 

Like Unilever, The Ferrero Group also made moves in the frozen treats category with its acquisition of Well Enterprises. Ferrero, the owner of brands like Kinder, Tic Tac and Ferrero Rocher, announced the acquisition in December last year. The acquisition included Wells Enterprises’ ice cream brands Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classics, Bomb Pop and better-for-you ice cream brand, Halo Top.

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