Skip to main content

Hormel bulks up portfolio with purchase of Muscle Milk line

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Late Monday night, Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods announced plans to pay $450 million for CytoSport Holdings, the maker of Muscle Milk.

The Star Tribune reports that the deal is expected to close within 30 days. Hormel company executives will discuss the deal in a Tuesday conference call with analysts and investors.

Based in Benicia, California, CytoSport is currently owned by the family that founded it and private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners LLC. The father-and-son team of Greg and Michael Pickett started the company in 1998. The company began producing protein powder for athletes in 2000, but has expanded with the addition of ready-to-drink beverages and bars. Muscle Milk is No. 1 in the ready-to-drink protein beverage category.

“Muscle Milk products will serve as a growth catalyst for our specialty foods segment, providing this division with a leading brand in the high-growth sports nutrition category,” Hormel CEO Jeffrey Ettinger said in a statement. “The acquisition of CytoSport expands our offerings of portable, immediate, protein-rich foods, and broadens our appeal with younger consumers.”

The Wall Street Journal said the addition of the CytoSport product line gives Hormel "...a broader profile in the burgeoning market for high-protein supplements. Consumers have embraced these products as fitness and weight-loss aids."

The Journal added that sales of packaged foods with protein-related claims on their labels rose to $7.5 billion in the year that ended on Feb. 15. Research firm Nielsen said that's an increase of more than 50% from the same period four years earlier.

Bloomberg reported that Hormel forecast the acquisition to add about 5 cents a share to earnings in fiscal 2015, with a neutral impact to earnings in the current fiscal year, including transaction costs.

Hormel has continued to diversify beyond the meat-based products that built its reputation; it acquired Skippy from Unilever in 2013, paying $700 million for the No. 2-selling peanut butter line.

Next Up


Ringo Starr's late cancellation of MN show was because he has COVID-19

The Beatles drummer was due to perform in Minnesota Sunday.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 4.32.58 PM

Fire destroys cafe, two other business properties in downtown Fairfax

A former pizza joint was also destroyed, while two other properties were damaged.

Hennepin County Medical Center, HCMC

Woman dies from injuries in crash that killed her husband, another man

The couple in their 80s died in the collision near Lake Lillian.

CPAP masks

2 Park Nicollet employees convicted of embezzling $500,000

The pair worked at a CPAP clinic in St. Louis Park.


No Jingle Ball this year? Twin Cities left off iHeartRadio holiday tour

The annual touring event usually visits the Xcel Energy Center.

Target store

Target gives first look at some of its Deal Days discounts

The Minneapolis retailer is holding its Deal Days event earlier than ever, in an attempt to drive sales after a turbulent year.

Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 11.03.12 AM

Man dies after crashing truck into western Wisconsin lake

The victim was unable to make it to shore despite being able to get out of his truck.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Sheriff: Man who didn't return to campsite died in ATV crash

It happened at the Foothills State Forest and Spider Lake ATV Recreation Area

Richard Liu, aka Liu Qiangdong

Chinese billionaire settles lawsuit over alleged rape in Minneapolis

The tech billionaire was accused of sexually assaulting a University of Minnesota student in 2018.

US Navy Flickr - COVID hospital PPE nurse

Frontline worker payments: Over a million Minnesotans to get $487.45

Gov. Tim Walz says the payments will start going out on Wednesday.


Ed Sheeran to bring North America stadium tour to Minneapolis

It's the second show announced for the Vikings stadium in 2023.