Dean Foods Acquires Uncle Matt’s Organic

We just received this announcement from our friends at Whipstitch Capital. It comes on the heels of the Amazon+Whole Foods deal and suggests, once again, that the big brands see that buying into the organic food movement is the smartest way to grow. Dean Foods recently invested in Boulder-based Good Karma Foods and have now acquired Uncle Matt’s Organics. These smaller brands can now leverage the capital. distribution, R&D and more that comes from these bigger platforms.

Earlier today, Dean Foods Company (“Dean Foods”) (NYSE: DF) announced that it has acquired Uncle Matt’s Organic®, a leading organic juice company.

Uncle Matt’s Organic is the nation’s oldest organic juice company offering a wide range of organic juices, probiotic-infused juices and fruit-infused probiotic waters. Founded by Matt McLean, the real-life uncle to ten nieces and nephews, Uncle Matt’s Organic is committed to producing the highest quality juices, using only premium 100% organically grown fruit free from GMOs, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

“We have known Matt McLean for many years and we couldn’t be happier to provide liquidity to him and his family from this process and help set the Uncle Matt’s brand on the road to further strong growth,” said Michael Burgmaier, Managing Director of Whipstitch Capital. Nick McCoy, Managing Director of Whipstitch Capital, added, “Dean Foods has the ability, dedication and passion to build on the incredible growth that Matt and his family have achieved to date. Look out! The best is still yet to come!”

In fact, in addition to the brand, Uncle Matt himself – Matt McLean – will be joining Dean Foods to continue his leadership of the brand into the future. Uncle Matt’s Organic will continue operating the business out of its offices in Clermont, Florida, as a subsidiary of Dean Foods Company.

“Joining Dean Foods allows me to continue to nurture the brand I started nearly 20 years ago,” said McLean. “Our mission has always been to produce the highest quality organic juices. Becoming part of Dean Foods will allow us to bring organic to consumers at a scale that supports the organic farming community and increases consumer interests in organics.”

“The Whipstitch deal team – Nick, Mike, and Tim Sousa – was integral to this process every step of the way,” said McLean. “I met Mike at one of their trade show events many years ago and I knew he understood who we were, what we were doing, and how to position us. Whipstitch’s close relationships with senior executives at the large acquirers made a huge difference. Our family was pleased with Whipstitch and their depth of knowledge from start to finish of our industry and the market. Whipstitch guided us to a successful result.”

Robyn’s Note: Dean also recently invested in Good Karma Foods team here in Boulder. The only part of the food system that is growing is organics. Big companies are buying in, and the little brands get access to distribution and the capital they need to compete. Sadly, the system is so stacked against them. If we got to do it over, yes, I/wewould do it differently. But we work to help these smaller companies become a compass inside of the larger brands, in order to expand organic by investing in organic agriculture and farmland.  

Currently, less than 1% of farmland in the U.S. is under organic agricultural practices.  Demand far exceeds supply, with smaller brands limited in their ability to invest.  Keep making noise, keep voting with your wallet.  Every purchase sends a message to the food industry and farmers: 21st century consumers want organic food.  #dumpthejunk