Hormel buys Muscle Milk maker

AUSTIN, Minn. – A major southern Minnesota corporation is expanding their brand even further.

Hormel Foods announced that they are purchasing CytoSport Holdings for $450 million. The company is best known for their Muscle Milk product.

There has been a big push over the last few years over the importance of getting a good amount of protein in our diets.

“It actually helps keep us fuller longer, and helps maintain muscle mass. It’s just really good for being a part of a meal as far as balance too. So  we’re not getting hungry right away,” said Austin Hy-Vee Dietitian Jen Haugen.

She said more people are looking at getting protein outside of their meals, and it is not just athletes.

“People are looking at how can I get protein in a quick type of a way, or grab-and-go type of a way, so it’s definitely becoming more and more popular,” Haugen said.

Hormel decided they wanted to get on board. It is a company rich in its history of protein, known for their pork products, but they thought they would get their feet wet in a different field.

“Over time, we’ve branched into turkey, we’ve branched into convenience meals that feature meat, Mexican food, peanut butter. This enables us to get into another form of protein utilizing whey and other dairy powders,” said Hormel President and CEO Jeff Ettinger.

It is that grab-and-go feel that stuck out about Muscle Milk to Hormel. It also gears toward a younger audience.

“When you look at our aggregate product portfolio, we probably skew a little bit older, we skew a little bit more traditional sit down meals, but there’s a younger audience coming up, there are more and more meals consumed on the go,” Ettinger said.

CytoSport’s headquarters are located in the San Francisco bay area and employs 275 people.

Ettinger said in the immediate future no jobs will be coming to the area based on this purchase, but over time that could change.

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