Do you even acquire major protein shake brands, bro? Pepsi announced today that it has bought the CytoSport brand from Hormel for an undisclosed sum (hat tip to Food Business News). The move is another step for Pepsi to diversify beyond its sugary soda roots.
CytoSport makes Muscle Milk, the fun-to-say line of protein drinks, bars and powders, as well as the Evolve brand of vegan protein products. Hormel purchased CytoSport in 2014 for $450 million. According to Food Dive, CytoSport has faced issues in recent years, including a product recall in 2016, and a decline in sales last year.
Perhaps Pepsi, which owns Gatorade and understands the sports beverage business, will be a better fit for Muscle Milk than a meat company like Hormel.
For its part, this is another move by Pepsi to diversify beyond sodas, the sales of which have been on the decline as other, healthier drinks like La Croix have eclipsed them. In response to shifting tastes, Pepsi acquired SodaStream last year for $3.2 billion to become an immediate player in the seltzer market. The company has also launched Drinkfinity, it’s pod-based flavored water system last year.
Pepsi isn’t alone in its diversification efforts. Coca-Cola acquired the Costa Coffee chain last year, and led a $15 million investment in hipster water company, Dirty Lemon. Coca-Cola also owns Gatorade analog, Powerade, as well as Fairlife, which makes Core protein shakes.
Now the only question is, will protein even lift Pepsi’s bottom line, bro?