SONOMA, Calif. — The Hershey Co. is selling its jerky brand Krave to Sonoma Brands for an undisclosed amount.
Sonoma Brands is an emerging-brands private equity investor and incubator led by Jon Sebastiani, who is also the founder of Krave.
The Hershey, Pa.-based confectionery giant acquired Krave Pure Foods Inc., manufacturer of Krave jerky, in 2015. At the time, Hershey said the transaction allowed the company to tap into the rapidly growing meat snacks category and further expand into the broader snacks space.
However, Hershey President and CEO Michele Buck said in the company’s April 23 earnings call that Hershey was looking to divest in its Krave jerky and Scharffen Berger and Dagoba chocolate brands to better prioritize resources against assets that fit the company's business model and scale capabilities.
“These are great brands that continue to resonate with consumers, but they require a different go-to-market model that we believe is better supported by other owners,” Buck said during the call. “These actions will enable us to prioritize our recently acquired scale assets within salty snacks and nutrition bars.”
Sonoma, Calif.-based Sonoma Brands’ portfolio includes Dang Foods’ Coconut Chips, Guayaki’s Yerba Mate beverages and Milk Bar baked goods. Krave products include Krave Meat Cuts, Krave Pork Rinds and Krave Plant-Based Jerky.
“I have always had a great relationship with The Hershey Co. and watched them grow Krave,” Sebastiani said. “From expanding Krave’s product offerings to dipping into the plant-based category and increasing worldwide distribution, Krave is in a great spot to come back home to Sonoma, where we can continue the brand's fantastic momentum as a category leader.”