DEERFIELD, Ill. — Mondelez International has acquired Hu Master Holdings, the parent company of Hu Products, a growing U.S.-based snacking company offering high-quality snacks made from simple ingredients.
Hu, which comes from the phrase “Get Back to Human,” is a purpose-led lifestyle brand with a devoted fan base, according to the company. Founded in 2012 as a family business by Jason Karp and siblings Jordan Brown and Jessica (Brown) Karp, Hu began as Hu Kitchen in New York City, a high-end restaurant and market focused on foods with simple, real ingredients. The company’s vegan and paleo-friendly chocolate bars follow a strict set of “ultrasimple” ingredient guardrails and sourcing practices. Hu’s chocolate was inspired by the paleo movement and developed by the founding family, the company said.
The brand has become one of the fastest-growing confectionery brands in the natural channel, it said. Recently, Hu has broadened its offerings to include premium, grain-free crackers and begun scaling its distribution to grocery stores nationwide. Mondelez International made an initial minority investment in Hu in April 2019 through SnackFutures, its innovation and venture hub dedicated to unlocking emerging snacking opportunities.
“Hu is a strong strategic complement to our snacking portfolio in North America,” said Glen Walter, executive vice president and president, Mondelez International North America, Deerfield. Ill. “This well-being brand platform provides further growth opportunities in chocolate, cross-category potential in crackers, as well as meaningful opportunities to expand distribution including in e-commerce and premium conventional retail. We’ve been very impressed with the Hu management team as a minority investor and look forward to working with Jordan Brown and Mark Ramadan and the rest of the Hu team to provide support and resources for the brand’s next chapter of growth.”
Jason Karp, chairman and cofounder of Hu, said the deal validates the company’s goal to create “delicious food that could change how you feel and compliment a healthier lifestyle.”
“Mondelez International has been our minority partner for almost two years,” he said, “and we are excited to fully join their family of brands because we believe their resources, strengths and progressive vision can help us accelerate positive change within snacking and grow the Hu platform in a bigger and broader way.”
Joining other fast-growing premium and well-being snack brands, including Tate’s and Perfect Snacks, Hu will operate as part of the North American Ventures business model and remain focused on its core mission of delivering ultra-high-quality chocolate and snacks with strict ingredient and sourcing guardrails. As such, Mondelez International will operate Hu as a separate business to nurture its entrepreneurial spirit and maintain the authenticity of the brand and culture, while providing resources to help accelerate Hu’s growth. Hu will continue to produce all products at current manufacturing facilities. Hu senior leadership will receive a contingent payment based on future performance of the company.