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Higher Expectations

Earlier in May, Bolthouse Farms had put up their "for sale" sign and solicited bids from interested companies.

More recent news from July detailed Campbell Soup Company acquiring Bolthouse Farms, integrating their carrot business with their healthy snacking options and adding the beverages to Campbell’s beverage portfolio.

With renewed investments, Bolthouse Farms now emerges as a stronger competitor in the premium juices & smoothie beverage category.

How would this acquisition impact the category and retailers?

From an insular perspective, this deal fortifies distribution strength for Bolthouse Farms since Campbell products are more widely available.

Leveraging this acquisition, Bolthouse Farms will now be found at more grocery and mass retailers, as well as start to penetrate the drug and convenience channels.

The increased market coverage for Bolthouse Farms juices and smoothies puts pressure on the retailer to maintain shopper conversion.

The beverage manufacturer will certainly ask the retailer to provide more in-store display space beyond the beverage’s home location to bring attention to the product.

In return for incremental display space, the retailer should push for aggressive feature pricing, dedicated branded coolers, and new communication signage to help with converting shoppers.

From a liberal perspective, other premium juice and smoothie manufacturers like Arthur’s Fresh or Naked Juices will want to maintain their share of space and share of voice.

This could signal the early stages of increased activity for premium juices & smoothies.

Lower prices may appear in the market, as well as higher feature frequency.

While potentially leading to fewer category dollars, the increased competition does ultimately help expand coverage for the category.

As healthy alternatives become more important for consumers, stronger focus on this category helps everyone: retailers, manufacturers and consumers alike.

Despite the acquisition closing just a few months ago, and will take some time to integrate the new company’s operations with Campbell Soup Company, there are high expectations on what this acquisition will mean to all parties involved.

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