Hillshire Brands to Acquire Golden Island Jerky Brand

Published in CSP Daily News

Extends presence in meat snacks

CHICAGO -- The Hillshire Brands Co. recently signed an agreement to acquire the maker of Golden Island gourmet jerky products. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal, and they expect the transaction to close by the end of Sept. 2013, pending closing conditions.

"We are excited to add Golden Island to our strong portfolio of brands, as it provides an entry point into the attractive dried meat snacks category," said Sean Connolly, president and CEO of Hillshire Brands. "This highly appealing category generates retail sales of more than $2 billion annually and has had 10% volume growth over the past two years."

Connolly added, "While we are excited about our future prospects in this category, this is a small acquisition for us and is not expected to have a material impact on our earnings this fiscal year."

Golden Island will become part of Hillshire Brands' Gourmet Food Group, pairing with high-end brands like Aidells and Gallo. That group will be run by Sally Grimes, who, in addition to serving as senior vice president and chief innovation officer, will assume the role of president of Hillshire Brands Gourmet Food Group.

Founded more than 50 years ago, the company's Golden Island Jerky brand uses all natural ingredients with no preservatives and less sodium than most jerkies, it said, and its cooking processes differentiate it from traditional jerkies.

"Hillshire Brands is the perfect company to help take the Golden Island brand to new heights," said Anna Kan, president of Golden Island. "I look forward to continuing to work with the great people at Hillshire Brands to maximize our potential."

Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Golden Island is a leading manufacturer of premium gourmet jerky products. A third-generation, family-owned business with more than 60 years of specialty meat experience, Golden Island produces more than 20 gourmet varieties, inspired by bold and exotic flavors from around the world. Using a proprietary cooking and marinating process that has been perfected over the last six decades, Golden Island kettle cooks its beef and flame grills its pork jerky in small batches with no preservatives, ensuring that all flavors are authentic and delicious representations of the ingredients they are inspired by. Made with whole cuts of meat, Golden Island Jerky packs up to eight grams of protein in each serving and contains 40% to 60% less sodium than most other jerkies.

Chicago-based Hillshire Brands is a leader in focused food solutions for the retail and foodservice markets. The company generated approximately $4 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2013. Its portfolio includes iconic brands such as Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, State Fair, Sara Lee frozen bakery and Chef Pierre pies, as well as artisanal brands Aidells and Gallo Salame.