In the week when the World Health Organization has released a study stating that child obesity has increased ten-fold over the past four decades, it's fitting that Kellogg, the global snack and cereal company founded over 100 years ago in 1906, should announce that it is acquiring the Chicago Bar company, the manufacturer of nutritional protein bars founded just four years ago for $600m.
Like most snack and food companies, Kellogg has not been immune to criticism that its products aren't quite as healthy as the marketing literature and spin would have you believe. As the world wakes up to the growing problem of obesity and the high levels of sugar that exist in many processed food products today, informed consumers are looking elsewhere for alternative snack products they can purchase on the go. To quote from the Chicago Bar company's own website, “It's 2013, and we called B.S. on protein bars. CrossFit's taking off. People are going paleo. We couldn't believe there wasn't a more nutritious protein bar out there. Maybe we were a little naïve, but we decided to stop talking and try to make it ourselves".
The company has had a meteoric rise in the four years since they launched. It has not received any external venture capital funding and has got its product to market via a diverse set of retail outlets, including grocery stores, fitness studios, CrossFit gyms, bookstores, coffee shops, and juice bars across the US.
With net sales reported to be hitting around $170m in 2017, the company has clearly tapped into the psyche of the part of the population that is concerned by the fuel they put in to their bodies.