Happy Family was founded in 2006 by entrepreneur Shazi Visram with the aim of producing nutritious foods for babies and toddlers. The companies have not disclosed the exact value of the acquisition, but Happy Family holds a 4% share of the US baby food market and had more than $60m in gross sales last year.
Following the announcement, Visram said she would continue as CEO and the management team would remain intact.
“By joining Danone, Happy Family will benefit from the expertise of a major international group, in particular for distribution and its renowned R&D capabilities,” Visram said in a statement. “We are thrilled, as this agreement will allow us to further our goal of providing organic nutrition to more children, both by making our products more available and by continuing to provide new innovations to the baby and toddler category.”
Danone said that Happy Family had driven growth in the US baby food market over the past few years by combining convenience with defined nutritional benefits.
Executive vice president of Danone’s Baby Nutrition division Felix Martin Garcia said: “We are delighted with this acquisition in an innovative and fast-moving segment of the baby food market. Building on a business model that has proven its effectiveness, we plan to step up the development of Happy Family and its brands.”
In a video on the Happy Family website, Visram called the deal “a dream come true”, and said that Danone was a company that shared her company’s social values.
The acquisition is subject to approval by competition authorities and is expected to be finalised in the coming months.