NEW YORK — Food giant Mondelez International has agreed to acquire cookie maker Tate’s Bake Shop for about $500 million, looking to address changing consumer tastes.
Tate’s is best known for its chocolate chip cookies with a green-and-white label on the bag. The Southampton, N.Y., company also makes gift baskets with items such as brownies, shortbread and macaroons.
In November, Mondelez International’s chief executive Irene Rosenfeld stepped down after more than a decade, handing the reins to Dirk Van de Put, who had been running a Canadian food company. This marks his first deal at Mondelez.
“Tate’s has demonstrated exceptional and very profitable growth, and we look forward to working with the Tate’s management team to expand distribution and build upon that success,” Van de Put said in a news release.
The deal is expected to close this summer, Mondelez said.
Van de Put has spent his first few months at Mondelez doing a strategic review of the company’s global footprint that will be finished by the end of the summer.
Mondelez’s presence in emerging markets has boosted sales in recent quarters, while its business in North America has lagged behind. In the latest quarter, Mondelez’s total sales rose 5.5% to $6.77 billion, even though its sales in North America fell 1.3%.
Americans’ appetite for fresher food with simpler ingredients has challenged some of the company’s iconic brands in recent years.
Tate’s cookies are made with ingredients such as brown cane sugar and butter, rather than high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil, making them more in sync with current eating habits. Tate’s sales have quadrupled in the past five years. In 2015, Mondelez bought allergen-free snack-foods maker Enjoy Life Foods.