Low-cal ice cream brand Halo Top has been acquired by Wells Enterprises, the US’s largest privately held ice cream manufacturer.
The Eden Creamery brand was snapped up for an undisclosed amount, with the deal expected to complete this month.
As part of the acquisition, Wells agreed to license the Halo Top brand outside of the US and Canada to a new company, which will be operated by Halo Top president and COO Doug Bouton.
“We are incredibly excited about what the future holds for Halo Top on a global scale. I’m excited to continue developing the brand internationally, especially in the UK, and create even deeper partnerships with our retailers going forward,” Bouton told The Grocer.
The deal would help Halo Top “become an even better product and stronger brand”, Halo Top founder and CEO Justin Woolverton said.
Woolverton, a former lawyer, launched Halo Top in California in 2011. Within six years, Halo Top had become the top-selling ice cream pint in US grocery.
More recently, however, as brands like Ben & Jerry’s launched their own healthier ice cream versions, sales have reportely started to struggle.
“Halo Top met a consumer need that no one else in the category was serving,” said Wells CEO and president Mike Wells. “We feel it is a good fit for the Wells portfolio as we look to broaden our offerings for consumers.”
Founded in 1913, family-owned Wells owns a portfolio of four brands – Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon, Bomb Pop and Chilly Cow – as well as a range of private label and co-pack businesses.
Halo Top launched in the UK in January 2018. That same year, it became one of the top 10 best selling ice cream tub brands, with sales of £13.1m [Nielsen 52 w/e 8 September 2018].
The brand’s iconic pack design, which highlights the number of calories per pint, also sparked a number of copycat versions, including from Breyer’s, Jude’s, Asda and Aldi.