PepsiCo has acquired plant-based products producer Health Warrior in order to expand its nutritional portfolio.

The US business was founded in 2011 by a group of college friends, Dan Gluck, Nick Morris and current chief executive Shane Emmett, who wanted to make nutrient-dense foods more accessible to Americans.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the innovative Health Warrior brand to the PepsiCo family,” said Al Carey, chief executive of PepsiCo North America. “We continue to position ourselves at the forefront of changing consumer preferences and trends. This acquisition helps us increase our presence in the nutrition bar category, which is an attractive growth space.”

Health Warrior products are made from nutrient-dense, non-GMO and gluten-free ingredients. Its current offerings include nutrition bars made with chia and pumpkin seeds, and other plant-based protein offerings like mug muffins and protein powder.

“We’re fired up to join PepsiCo and continue to put nutritious options within reach of significantly more people,” added Emmett. “With a shared mission to help create healthy relationships between people and food, PepsiCo is the ideal partner to bring our nutrient-dense, plant-forward offerings to even more consumers and considerably accelerate Health Warrior’s growth. This is the whole reason we started the company.”

While Emmett will continue to lead the business from its current headquarters in Richmond, this is PepsiCo’s first investment that will move into the newly-created PepsiCo HIVE entity, which aims to focus on emerging, smaller brands.