Unilever Scoops Up Premium Ice Cream Company Yasso

Consumer heavyweight Unilever has agreed to acquire low-calorie frozen snacks company, Yasso, for an undisclosed sum, bulking up its premium portfolio already including Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Talenti.

The deal is expected to close in Q3 2023, subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Founded by childhood friends, Amanda Klane and Drew Harrington, in Boston over a decade ago, Yasso has expanded from its original frozen yogurt bars to adjacent novelty items, such as sandwiches and mochi. The company also recently launched a new subsidiary platform starting with Jüve Pops, a functional popsicles line.

Yasso’s team didn’t comment on details of the transaction, but said they’re excited about the partnership. Craig Shiesley, CEO of Yasso, said in a statement: “We are excited to join Unilever and become part of the world renowned family of ice cream and novelties brands. I’m proud of our company growth and we look forward to working with Unilever to expand the global footprint of our incredible brand.”

Yasso closed a growth deal in 2018 with private equity Breakaway Ventures and Castanea Partners, three years after raising $2 million in series A, PitchBook showed, and its total business revenue has reached $300 million.

Matt Close, president of Unilever’s ice cream division, said: “I am delighted to welcome Yasso to the Unilever family. It has built a strong customer appeal in the fast-growing, premium ‘Better For You’ segment. This acquisition is a great step in the evolution of our ice cream portfolio in North America towards high growth spaces. I am confident that with the full support of Unilever behind Yasso, we will take this fast-growing business to even greater heights.”

The U.S. frozen dessert market was worth $30.95 billion in 2021, according to Grandview Research, and it anticipates a 4.6% CAGR from 2022 to 2030 with emerging players such as Dream Pops, Boba x Ice Cream, and Sacred Serve amping up the competition.

Deal flow also remains consistent in the space with Coolhaus acquired by Perfect Day’s Urgent Company about two years ago. Just recently, Italian confectioner Ferrero acquired Wells Enterprises, the parent company of Blue Bunny, Blue Ribbon Classics, Bomb Pop, and Halo Top.

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