Nestle USA, Glendale, Calif., Feb. 23 announced plans to acquire energy and nutrition bar leader PowerBar, Berkeley. The merger between Nestle and PowerBar, sales for which totaled $142 million in 1999, follows Kraft Foods' acquisition of the $100 million Balance Bar Co. franchise and recent entries into the growing $500 million segment from Quaker Oats Co.'s Gatorade and McNeil Consumer Products Co.'s Benecol. No plans have been laid yet to change PowerBar's 2000 marketing plans, which include a $30 million TV, print and radio effort from agency of record Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., that continues the brand's "Don't bonk'' ad theme. PowerBar had resisted offers in the past, hoping instead to take the company public on its own, but the changing landscape of the category prompted top executives to reconsider, a company spokeswoman said.
Copyright February 2000, Crain Communications Inc.