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Maker of Rao’s Sauce Sells to Campbell for $2.7 Billion

Long one of the most popular jarred red sauces in the supermarket aisle, Rao’s will become part of Campbell’s as part of a deal to acquire Sovos Brands Inc.

Rao's sauces

Rao’s Homemade sauces sold to Campbell Soup Company as part of a $2.7 billion deal.

Now that’s a lot of sauce! Rao’s Homemade pasta sauces was sold to Campbell Soup Company yesterday in a deal to acquire Sovos Brands Inc. for $2.7 billion. Sovos owned the popular supermarket aisle red sauce as well as noosa yogurt.

The deal, announced in a release on Monday, means that the line of jarred red sauces from Rao’s, launched in 1992 as an offshoot of the legendary NYC restaurant, joins the portfolio of Campbell products. 

The cachet of the Rao’s brand stemmed in part from its famously hard-to-get-into 10-seat restaurant in Harlem, a haunt of celebrities and well-connected New Yorkers.

With the sales of the sauces to giant Campbell, Italian red-sauce brands will surely jockey to become the next cool jarred sauce company. 

Already, the newsletter and social media channel The Snaxshot is asking, “Who is the next Rao’s?” and looking at R2R—or “restaurant to retail”—sauce brands. The Snaxshot’s Instagram post features a slideshow with jars of red sauces by restaurants Carbone, Rubirosa, and Buca di Beppo, as well as eye-catching bottles from Heinz (which makes an Absolut vodka sauce), and even Chef Boy-Ar-Dee. We presume that last one is tongue-in-cheek. 

The value of the deal, nearly $3 billion, means that the red sauce market will surely be heating up. According to a joint release announcing the deal, Rao’s represented 69% of Sovos Brands. The stakes, in other words, are high.

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