Organic food business Shamus Organic has been acquired by a US-based company.
The deal, announced by the company on Tuesday, is valued at US$7.5m (£5.6m).
The company has more than 60 stores across the US, Europe and Asia, according to its website.
The acquisition follows the news earlier this month that a Chinese company was selling its own organic brands to Walmart, Amazon and other US retailers.
Organic food is becoming increasingly popular with consumers, with consumer demand for organic foods increasing by more than 80 per cent between 2007 and 2020, according the International Centre for Science in Food and Agriculture (ICFA).
“The internet is now making it much easier to share, and there’s no need to fear the ‘sham’ brand, which may not even be real,” said Andrew Beal, director of global food policy at ICSFA, in a statement.
“In the US alone, there are more than 30 million organic and natural food businesses and more than 10 million consumers who are buying from them.”
Beal added that organic food businesses were “growing fast in China”.
The US-listed Shamus is currently selling products such as organic meatballs, organic salads, organic chicken nuggets, and organic coconut milk, among others.
Shamus has also recently launched an organic brand of organic juice, which has also attracted the attention of the food industry.
Beal said the acquisition of Shamus would be the largest acquisition in the organic food sector in history, and said that it would “support Shamus in its mission to grow organic business globally”.
“The acquisition will help Shamus further grow its global reach and accelerate Shamus’ momentum towards growing organic food worldwide,” he added.
Organics for Good, an organisation promoting organic foods, said the news “shocked” it.
“The news of the acquisition is an eye-opener for consumers and the sustainability of organic foods,” said Rachel Clements, co-founder of the organisation.
“It is clear that the organic industry has matured to the point where many consumers can afford to make organic purchases in a global marketplace.
It is also important to note that the consolidation of organic food giants has also created an environment in which new players are taking advantage of the market, such as Walmart and Amazon.”