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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Berkeley's Annie's Homegrown Goes Public, Rakes in Cash

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 7:46 AM

click to enlarge annies_homegrown_logo_1.jpg

If decades-old boxes of Annie's Homegrown Macaroni and Cheese were the equivalent of stock shares, nearly every person reading this would be just a little bit wealthier today. As the San Jose Mercury News reported, yesterday Berkeley's own little natural food behemoth began trading shares on the New York Stock Exchange (Trading code: BNNY). It jumped into the market at $19 a share before rocketing up to nearly $36; today, it's trading even higher. In comparison, local gaming company Zynga set its initial stock price at $10 -- and its stock is only worth $12 three months later.

Started in 1989 by Annie Withey and Andrew Martin as a means to promote healthy macaroni and cheese, Annie's Homegrown has grown and split and grown some more, becoming one of the giants in the mainstream "natural foods" market. The company now sells over 100 different products that can be found on the shelves of big-box supermarkets. Ten -- even five -- years ago, consumers were scoffing at the idea of whole-wheat pasta in their macaroni and cheese. Nowadays, Joe Average is picking up Tampax, Bud Light, and whole-wheat Cheddar bunnies at the local corner store.

Times are clearly changing. Don't we all wish we'd predicted the change, say, 48 hours ago?

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Noah Sanders


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