About MICHAEL FOODS, INC.

Breakfast food company Post Holdings has a healthy appetite. The maker of Grape-Nuts, Toasties, Honey Bunches of Oats, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat, Bran Flakes, Pebbles, and Alpha-Bits, Post is the third-best-selling breakfast cereal brand in the US behind Kellogg and General Mills). As well as cereal, the company also makes egg products, potato products, and cheese, pasta, and other dairy-based products. More recently it has moved beyond the breakfast table by adding snacks, active nutrition products, and pasta through a series of major acquisitions. It also manufactures nut butters and cereals for private labels. The company has warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and distribution facilities located throughout the US and Canada.

Operations

Post operates four business segments: Michael Foods, Post Consumer Brands, Active Nutrition, and Private Brands.

Michael Foods accounts for around 45% of revenue and sells refrigerated egg products; potato products; and cheese, pasta, and other dairy products. Egg products include Better 'N Eggs, All Whites, and Papetti's, among others. Its potato brands are primarily Simply Potatoes and Diner's Choice; and its main cheese, pasta, and other dairy brand is Crystal Farms.

Post Consumer Brands generates around 35% of total company sales and makes ready-to-eat cereal products such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Shreddies, Pebbles, Great Grains, and Alpha-Bits, among others.

The Active Nutrition (10% of sales) makes high-protein drinks, bars, and gels under the Premier Protein, Dymatize, Supreme Protein, and PowerBar brands.

Post's Private Brand manufacturing operation (10% of sales) makes peanut and other nut butters for third-parties primarily in the US and Canada. The segment also includes the Attune Foods business, which makes natural cereals and snacks, such as Uncle Sam cereals, Attune probiotic bars, Erewhon gluten-free cereals.

Geographic Reach

Post in headquartered in Missouri. More than 90% of the company's products are sold to customers in the US. The Post Consumer Brands segment has eight owned manufacturing facilities, while Michael Foods owns six egg products production facilities.

Sales and Marketing

Post Holdings deploys a variety of consumer-targeted marketing campaigns across television, digital and print advertisement, coupon offers, co-op advertising with certain retail customers, and co-marketing arrangements with complementary consumer product companies. It also utilizes traditional billboard, print, digital, and social media advertising, as well as grass-roots advertising using sampling events and business drops.

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores is the company's largest customer, accounting for around 15% of total sales. Michael Foods serves foodservice distributors, restaurant chains, and major retail grocery chains, with its largest customers being Sysco and US Foods, which accounted for 14% and 12% of sales, respectively. Private Brands products are sold in natural and specialty grocery stores, such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, which together account for 25% of the segment's sales.

Financial Performance

After a game-changing fiscal 2015 that saw Post more than double its revenue, the company maintained its upward trajectory in fiscal 2016 (ended September) by growing its top line 8% to $5.0 billion.

The growth came from the first full-year contributions from businesses acquired in 2015, particularly MOM Brands, and from Willamette Egg Farms, acquired part-way through fiscal 2016. Beyond acquisitions, Post recorded organic growth in Premier Protein products and ready-to-eat cereal, peanut butter, and private brand granola. Egg, potato, cheese, pasta products saw sales decline.

Post incurred a net loss of $3.3 million in fiscal 2016, an improvement on the losses of $115 million and $343 million recorded in fiscals 2015 and 2014. The narrowing loss was a result of profit contributions of the acquired businesses.

Cash from operating activities increased 11%, or $50.8 million, to $502.4 million. As before incremental contributions from the acquired businesses drive operating cash growth, as did higher organic earnings from Post Consumer Brands, Michael Food, and Active Nutrition.

Strategy

Post Holdings has continued to move beyond breakfast cereal into higher-growth categories, including snacks, sports nutrition, supplements, and weight loss. The company's recent feeding frenzy of food companies included the $2.45 billion acquisition of Michael Foods, its largest-ever, which gave it the Simply Potatoes, All Whites, and Crystal Farms brands. The acquisitions demonstrate its willingness to adapt to shifts in consumer tastes, such as capitalizing on the popularity of high-protein products and away-from-home snacks.

Post made a major move into the UK with the purchase of British breakfast food firm Weetabix in 2017. As well as its famous eponymous wheat bricks, Weetabix owns Alpen, Weetos, and Oatibix.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Post has made a ton of acquisitions in recent years. In 2017 Post acquired UK cereal maker Weetabix in a $1.76 billion deal. The acquisition, which includes the Weetabix, Alpen, Barbara's Puffins, and other cereal brands, expands Post's international market presence and bolsters Weetabix's brand presence in the US.

In 2016 it acquired National Pasteurized Eggs, an Illinois-based egg producer, and in 2015 another egg producer, Willamette Egg Farms. Also in 2015 it acquired MOM Brands, a market leader in the ready-to-eat value cereal segment.

Company Background

Prior to the spinoff, Post represented Ralcorp's branded cereal segment, which was in decline. (Ralcorp acquired Post from Kraft Foods in 2008 for about $2.7 billion, but its success with the brand was sporadic.) In the end, Ralcorp decided to launch Post on its own to focus on its own burgeoning private-label food business. The acquisition in 2014 of Michael Foods transformed the business, more than doubling its revenue. It followed Michael Foods up with two other major purchases, MOM Brands in 2015 and Weetabix in 2017.

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MICHAEL FOODS, INC.

301 Carlson Pkwy Ste 400
Minnetonka, MN 55305-5370
Phone: 1 (507) 237-4600
Fax: 1 (952) 258-4911

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Executive Vice President: Deborah Laue
  • Senior Vice President Supply Chain: James G Mohr
  • Chief Financial Officer: Mark D Witmer
  • Employees: 3,596

Major Office Locations

  • Minnetonka, MN

Other Locations

  • Britt, IA
  • Lenox, IA
  • Gaylord, MN
  • Le Sueur, MN
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Wakefield, NE
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