April 16, 2019 – Privately-held Taylor Farms has purchased Earthbound Farm from the French conglomerate Danone, bringing the beloved organic brand back home to the Salinas Valley and catapulting Taylor to the forefront of the organic produce sector.
While the price was not disclosed, Bloomberg News reported last June that Danone was looking for a buyer and valued Earthbound in the neighborhood of $500 million.
No formal announcement has been made regarding Earthbound’s popular farm stand on Carmel Valley Road, but employees tell us they don’t expect any major changes.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to return ownership of this organic produce leader to local roots and family ownership,” said CEO Bruce Taylor in a news release announcing the sale.
Earthbound was founded in 1984 by Drew and Myra Goodman on a 2.5 acre organic raspberry farm in Carmel Valley. They grew it into the nation’s largest producer of organic salad mixes and sold the company to Denver-based White Wave Foods in 2013 for $600 million. It was sold to Danone in 2017.
According to the news release, Earthbound products will remain in the marketplace with Taylor Farms organic produce gradually transitioning over to the Earthbound brand.
Taylor Farm’s director of agricultural operations Josh Roberts told EMB last year that about 20% of the company’s output of packaged vegetables and salads were organic. He said Taylor Farms was committed to sustainability and was converting over about 5% of its acreage to organic every year.
Employees at the farm stand said they were excited to be back in local hands and that it’s business as usual there.
In a statement issued to EMB late today, Taylor Farms said: We anticipate enhancing the food and beverage and entertainment options at the Earthbound Farm Farm Stand.