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About Michael Foods, Inc.

Breakfast food company Post Holdings has a healthy appetite. The maker of Grape-Nuts, Golden Puffs, Honey Bunches of Oats, Raisin Bran, Shredded Wheat, Pebbles, and Alpha-Bits, Post is one of the 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 five reportable segments: Post Consumer Brands, Foodservice, Refrigerated Retail, Active Nutrition and Weetabix.

The Post Consumer Brands segment comprises Post's North America cereal business, which makes and sells branded and private-label ready-to-eat cereal products and hot cereal products. Brands include Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Oreo O's, Great Grains. Post Consumer Brands represent nearly 35% of sales.

Foodservice segment generates nearly 30% of sales and provides a broad portfolio of egg products under several brands, including Papetti's and Abbotsford Farms, as well as potato products under several brands, including Simply Potatoes.

The Refrigerated Retail segment makes egg products, sausage, side dishes, cheese and other refrigerated products. Egg brands include Papetti's, Easy Eggs, and Table Ready; and refrigerated side dish brands include Bob Evans, Simply Potatoes, and Pineland Farms. Cheese and other dairy brands are marketed mainly under the Crystal Farms brand. The segment accounts for more than 15% of sales.

Active Nutrition, also known as BellRing Brands, provides high-protein products, including drinks, bars, and snacks, for fitness enthusiasts. Brands include Premier Protein, Dymatiza, Power Bar, Supreme Protein, and Joint Juice. It accounts for some15% of sales.

The Weetabix segment is dedicated to sales of the Weetabix brand of wheat-based breakfast products as well as Alpen, Weetos, Ready Brek, and Weetabix on the Go. It generates more than5% of total sales from a customer base mainly within the UK and Ireland.

Post's largest revenue generating product is cereal and granola accounting for around 40% of total sales. The remaining sales are from egg and egg products, side dishes, cheese and dairy, and protein-based products and supplements.

Geographic Reach

Post is headquartered in Missouri.

The company's post consumer brands business's products are primarily manufactured through a flexible production platform at nine owned facilities in the US and Canada. Weetabix has operations in Africa through two joint ventures. Weetabix holds the number two overall position for branded manufacturers in the UK cereals and breakfast drinks category. Foodservice segment has nearly 15 egg products productions facilities in the US and potato processing facilities in Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and Ohio in which several of these production facilities also produce products of Refrigerated Retail segment. Refrigerated Retail segment operates a facility in Wisconsin. BellRing Brands segment's products are primarily manufactured under co-manufacturing agreements at various third party facilities located in the US and Europe.

Sales and Marketing

Post 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.

Post Consumer Brands products are found primarily to grocery stores, mass merchandise customers, supercenters, club stores, natural/specialty stores, and drug store customers. Weetabix segment's products are primarily sold to grocery stores, discounters, wholesalers, and convenience stores. Foodservice segment's primary customers include foodservice distributors and national restaurant chains. Refrigerated Retail segment's primary customers include grocery stores, mass merchandise customers, and major food manufacturers and processors. BellRing Brands segment's customers are predominately club stores, food, drug and mass customers, and online retailers, and also include specialty retailers, supplement and convenience stores and distributors.

The company's largest customer is Walmart, which accounted for approximately 20% of sales. The largest customers of Post's Weetabix segment are Tesco, Walmart, and Sainsbury's, which accounted for approximately 40% of Weetabix's segment sales. The largest customers of its Foodservice segment are Sysco and US Foods, which accounted for approximately 40% of segment sales. The largest customer of its Refrigerated Retail segment is Walmart, which accounted for approximately 20% of segment sales. The largest customers of its BellRing Brands segment are Costco and Walmart, which accounted for approximately 70% of segments sales.

Advertising and promotion expenses was $122.3 million in 2019, $153.4 million in 2018 and $159.7 million in 2017.

Financial Performance

Revenue dipped in 2019, but Post's sales have been growing strongly since 2015 thanks to a robust acquisition program that has reshaped the company's brand portfolio.

In fiscal 2019 (ended September 30), the company's sales declined 9% to $5.7 billion. The decrease was primarily due to the absence of net sales in the current year attributable to the historical Private Brands segment ($848.9 million in the year ended September 30, 2018), which is no longer consolidated in its financial results.

Post's net income has declined by 73% to $124.7 million. The change was due to decrease in sales and higher expenses.

Post's cash on hand increased $60 million in 2019, ending the year at $1.1 billion. The company's operations generated $688 million and its investing activities yielded another $26.7 million, offset by $652.4 million used in its financing activities. Post's main cash uses in 2019 were for acquisition, share repurchases, and debt payments.

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.

In 2018, the company announced its plan to close its cereal manufacturing facility in Clinton, Massachusetts, which manufactured certain Weetabix NA products distributed in North America. The transfer of production capabilities to other Post Consumer Brands facilities and the closure of the Clinton, Massachusetts facility was completed at September 30, 2019.

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.

Michael Foods, Inc.

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

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Senior Brand Manager: Kelly L Blaszczak
Vice President Sales: Michael Elliott
Vice President of Marketing: Bob Johnson
Employees (This Location): 226
Employees (All Locations): 3,596

Major Office Locations

Minnetonka, MN

Other Locations

Britt, IA
Lenox, IA
Gaylord, MN
Le Sueur, MN
Minneapolis, MN
Elizabeth, MO
Wakefield, NE
Elizabeth, NJ