ACE & Company is proud to share the news that Unilever has signed an agreement to acquire Seventh Generation, Inc., a North American pioneer in sustainable product innovations, including plant-based detergents and household cleaners.
ACE is actively building and expanding its footprint within the consumer wellness and health industry, with a focus on companies like Seventh Generation in the growth stage of their business development.
Seventh Generation has seen double-digit compounded annual growth over the last 10 years, and in 2015 alone, the company’s turnover exceeded US$200m. Seventh Generation has a comprehensive product portfolio and a distribution network covering the “natural” category in grocery, mass merchandise and e-commerce channels. CEO John Replogle said: “We look at this as having a multiplier effect for our business. We always aspired to be a billion-dollar brand. We see this as a springboard, as opposed to throwing in the towel.” Seventh Generation shareholders include its management; private-investment funds including ACE as well as Catamount Ventures; and Generation Investment Management LLP, a London-based fund founded by former Vice President Al Gore.
With a growth rate of over 20% per year, the consumer health and wellness industry is projected to be the next trillion-dollar industry within the coming years. This is due to an increased number of consumers who describe themselves as “health conscious” or “ingredient sensitive,” which, in turn, is influencing their purchasing behavior. Various consulting group studies, from Accenture to Deloitte, are revealing that the gap is widening between new, emerging consumer-centric businesses and traditional consumer brands. To come up on top of the consumer health and wellness trend, companies within the consumer goods sectors will need to re-orient their businesses to be able to quickly adapt their capabilities to the changing needs of the new consumer. As a result, many of the larger consumer product producers are striving to achieve this through acquisitions and alliances that include consumer health products. ACE strives to identify the champions of this buoyant consumer trend and Seventh Generation is a perfect example.