The multinational food giant Unilever has purchased Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto, Minneapolis, according to a Talenti press release issued today. Neither Unilever nor Talenti disclosed the terms of the transaction.
At the beginning of this year, Unilever's Breyers brand entered the gelato category with four flavors packaged in clear 28.5-ounce tubs. It followed fellow multinational Nestle’s which introduced gelato packaged in pints in 2013 under the Haagen-Dazs brand.
As part of the acquisition, Talenti will have access to Unilever's extensive distribution network and supplier's resources to accelerate its growth and leadership in the premium ice cream category, and will complement Unilever's existing family of established ice cream brands including Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, Fruttare, Good Humor, Klondike, Magnum and Popsicle.
In a statement, Talenti said it will maintain and operate its production facility in Marietta, Ga., where it makes pints and quarts. Josh Hochschuler founded Talenti as a store-front gelateria in Dallas in 2003. The company said its 2014 sales are expected to exceed $120 million. It claims to be the best-selling packaged gelato in the United States.
Kevin Havelock, President Refreshment Category, Unilever, said in a statement, “Talenti’s gelatos and sorbettos complement Unilever’s iconic portfolio of packaged ice cream. As the gelato category continues to gain popularity we are excited to welcome the fast-growing Talenti brand.
A Talenti spokeswoman told Dairy Foods that Talenti CEO Steve Gill will report directly to Kees Kruythoff, President, Unilever NA. She said Hochschuler reports to Gill.