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Snacks & Candy

Conagra Brands to Acquire Thanasi Foods

Duke's Meat Snacks and Bigs Seeds will join portfolio already stocked by Slim Jim and David Seeds

CHICAGO -- Conagra Brands Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Thanasi Foods LLC, maker of Duke's meat snacks and Bigs seeds. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and the transaction is still pending regulatory approval. It is expected to close this summer.

Duke's is a prominent convenience-store meat-snack brand that is growing due to consumers' desire for better-for-you, artisanal and protein-packed products. And Bigs is known for its premium seed snacks, including jumbo in-shell sunflower seeds, sunflower seed kernels and roasted pumpkin seeds.

"This is another exciting step in our ongoing efforts to reshape our portfolio to be more premium and modern," said Sean Connolly, president and chief executive officer of Conagra Brands, Chicago. "These on-trend brands extend our meat snacks and seeds businesses into faster-growing, more premium segments."

Conagra, no stranger to the snacks category with its core Slim Jim meat-snack brand, as well as its David Seeds brand, stands to gain better-for-you cache with the addition of the Thanasi brand to its portfolio.

"What started 13 years ago as a simple passion for fire-roasting seeds and slow-smoking meats has grown into two terrific brands that are recognized in households across the [United States]," said Justin "Duke" Havlick, founder and CEO of Duke's and Bigs. "This is an incredibly exciting time for our brands and our team."

After the transaction is completed, the Duke's and Bigs brands will continue to operate out of Boulder, Colo.

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