Ice Cream Brands Halo Top And Blue Bunny Are Joining The Ferrero Group

"We all scream for ice cream," may be an old adage, but it's no less true for its age. When it comes to the Italian sweet company Ferrero – which has been around since 1946 — the sentiment takes on an entirely new meaning. The confectionery giant started as a family-owned pastry shop in Alba, Italy. 

But, since then, the Ferrero Group has grown into a dessert amalgamation of over 35 brands spanning more than 170 countries. Ferrero's brand portfolio boasts iconic household-name products such as Nutella, Kinder, Tic Tac, Butterfinger, Crunch, Baby Ruth, Keebler, Famous Amos cookies, and (of course) Ferrero Rocher chocolate truffles, among others — and the brand isn't done expanding, either.

In 2017, the Ferrero Group bought both Fannie May and the Ferrara Candy Company. The Fannie May purchase came with the added bonus of the Harry London chocolate brand. The Ferrara Candy Company included Nerds, Sweet-tarts, Red Hots, Brach's, Sathers, Trolli, and Black Forest, per Food Business News

The Ferrero Group has also recently opened a new development lab in Chicago and expanded its production plant in Bloomington, Illinois. In September, Ferrero Rocher released a new line of chocolate bars. Now, this week, the sweets behemouth introduced the latest additions to its continuously-growing lineup.

A sweet expansion for family businesses

This week, the Ferrero Group announced the newest additions to its portfolio: Halo Top and Blue Bunny, via a press release. Specifically, the Ferrero Group is acquiring Wells Enterprises, which owns the ice cream brands and Bomb Pop popsicles. The deal is a merger of two family companies, both of which express excitement for the future growth potential that this new transition allows.

Since its founding in 1913 (when it delivered ice cream on a wagon), Wells has emerged as the largest family-owned and operated ice cream company on the contemporary market. Today, Wells cranks out over 200 million gallons of ice cream each year. The sheer scale of Wells' Le Mars, Iowa operation has led the city to be named the unofficial "Ice Cream Capital of the World." As Ferrero absorbs Wells, Wells' existing associates will remain in place. CEO and founding member Mike Wells will serve as a liaison for the transition and maintain Wells Enterprises' standalone business in Le Mars, which will stay in operation after the Ferrero purchase.

Reuters estimates that Wells will rake in a revenue of roughly $1.7 billion this year. In the 2021 fiscal year (ending August 31), the Ferrero Group saw sales of a whopping 12.7 billion euros. This figure demonstrates a 3.4% year-over-year growth rate from the fiscal year 2020. According to the press release, the acquisition deal will officially close sometime in 2023.