Udi’s Foods sent out a news release announcing a contest to name its new company late Thursday. It appears to be a part of the agreement to sell “Udi’s Gluten Free” to Boulder Brands/Smart Balance.
When Udi’s sold the gluten-free business to Smart balance in 2012, there was a stipulation that Udi’s Food would change its name. The news release said, “Udi’s Food must rename all the businesses still owned and operated by the Bar-on family by July 2014. This includes 10 restaurants and cafes, Colorado’s largest artisan bakery and the catering company.”
There was a confusing article that went around Facebook late yesterday (I even posted and later removed it from my Facebook page) and people hopped onto Udi’s Gluten Free Facebook page worrying about the future of the gluten free bread. A rep from Udi’s said on the Facebook page that the Udi’s name was sold to Boulder Brands/Smart Balance in the deal. ”In 2012, Udi’s sold their gluten free line and the name Udi’s to Boulder Brands so now [the restaurants] have to change their name. We will continue making delicious gluten free goodies!”
I did email Udi’s Gluten Free directly and a representative did get back to me this morning. The email said,”So sorry for any confusion! The article you may have read is actually about a different company and has been worded in a very confusing way. We are not changing our name and will not stop selling gluten free goodies under the Udi’s name! Udi’s Foods sold their Gluten Free line to Boulder Brands in 2012 so the remaining Denver Udi’s Restaurants (who are not exclusively gluten free) have to change their name as part of the sale and to avoid future confusion like this.”
About the transition, Etai Bar-on, CEO, Udi’s Foods said in the news release, “The gluten-free business was created as a means to reinvest and grow our original businesses [of artisan breads and catering]. We always knew that the greatest value of the gluten-free products was in the name,” Bar-on said. “Now that the life cycle of the gluten-free business is complete, we have an incredible opportunity to use those resources to support the seemingly infinite number of opportunities that lay ahead for our company, soon to be known by another name.”
So it sounds like Udi’s Foods is preparing to move on and we gluten free folks will have to continue moving forward with Udi’s Gluten Free — owned by Boulder Brands/Smart Balance. I hope to update this post with more details soon. And if you want to help rename Udi’s Foods you can do so here.