THOMASVILLE, GEORGIA, U.S. — Flowers Foods has entered into an agreement to acquire Dave’s Killer Bread for approximately $275 million in cash. Dave’s Killer Bread is believed to be the largest organic bread company in the U.S. The company produces 17 varieties of whole grain, organic products that are distributed throughout the United States and Canada.

“We are very excited about the pending acquisition of Dave’s Killer Bread,” said Allen L. Shiver, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Flowers Foods. “This is a well-positioned, fast-growing company with excellent brand equity and an on-trend organic portfolio that appeals to today’s consumers. The Dahl family and Goode Partners have built a great brand with a commitment to quality and community, two attributes that Flowers values tremendously. We are especially pleased to welcome the Dave’s Killer Bread team members who will bring expertise and experience to our company.”

Dave’s Killer Bread employs 300 and has one bakery in Milwaukie, Oregon, U.S. Once the transaction is complete, the business will be run as an independent subsidiary, according to Flowers Foods.
Shiver said once the acquisition is complete it will expand his company’s geographic reach into the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

“The Dave’s Killer Bread team bakes bread that is truly unique,” he said. “We see strong growth potential across our direct-store delivery and warehouse businesses as we leverage our strengths to offer Dave’s Killer Bread products to Flowers’ existing customers nationwide.”

First introduced at Portland Farmers Market in 2005, Dave’s Killer Bread is expected to generate between $160 million to $170 million in sales during fiscal 2016. The organic bread market has grown at a rate of 27% over the past four years, according to data from Information Resources, Inc. and provided by Flowers Foods, significantly outperforming the broader $23 billion retail baked goods market. Additional IRI data highlights Dave’s Killer Bread’s successful track record of growth, showing the brand increased retail sales by 25% in the past year, and by 168% versus three years prior, according to Flowers Foods.

The company has been working toward a goal of gaining national distribution by the end of 2015. As of late 2014, the company was baking 400,000 loaves per week, which it said represented 87% growth from 2012. The bread, which is certified organic and GMO free, carries a suggested retail price of $5.79 per loaf, more than double the average bread price nationally.

“Ten years ago, after 50 years in business as a small regional bakery called NatureBake, we took a little, experimental product to the Portland Farmer’s Market: Dave’s Killer Bread,” said John Tucker CEO of Dave’s Killer Bread. “It was the first of its kind — healthy, delicious, nutrition-packed, 100% organic bread, seeded all the way around and through for killer taste and texture. To our surprise, the bread was an instant hit. We’ve been working our butts off ever since trying to keep up. There’s no way we could have predicted how much people would fall in love with our product, and our mission. In fact, as word has spread and demand grown, we’ve had trouble keeping up. It takes a special bakery to bake the Dave’s Killer Bread way — you’ve got to have the right equipment, the right people and the right heart. That’s why the partnership with Flowers Foods couldn’t come at a better time.”

Like Dave’s Killer Bread, Flowers has made a move toward millennials with the introduction of Cobblestone Bread Co., a renewal of the company’s 1980s-era brand, Cobblestone Mill.
In a conference call earlier this year, Shiver said Cobblestone Bread was introduced to meet millennials’ “desire to create restaurant-quality sandwiches at home.”

Within the Cobblestone Bread line are three varieties: Brooklyn Rye, Million Dollar White and Knead for Seed Wheat.