We’re putting our money where your mouth is

Our 2017 acquisitions and investments provide a glimpse of the company we want to be at Nestlé

People’s purchases can tell you a lot about them, whether it’s the clothes they favor, the food they crave, or the car they drive.

The same could be said about a company’s investments and acquisitions. You can learn a lot about Nestlé by seeing where we put our money. Though we continually look for ways to complement our existing business, we’re also investing in the company we want to be in the years ahead. This has been Nestlé’s ethos since our founding in 1866 as Europe’s first condensed milk factory. In fact, being innovative and proactive has enabled Nestlé to become a global leader committed to improving quality of life across our more than 2,000 brands.

Today, perhaps more than ever, companies must remain nimble and responsive. Our market has never moved so fast, and it will never move so slowly again. That means changing with the times by understanding the ever-evolving wants and needs of our customers. This approach to growth is essential as discerning consumers expect high-quality products that are nutritious and responsibly sourced. And it’s not just the way products are made, but how consumers receive them. Though people still make most food choices in supermarkets, we’re operating in a rapidly evolving direct-to-consumer world. The disruption in the retail industry and the exponential growth in home delivery reflect a different world that we at Nestlé are rapidly adapting to. We understand that innovation in product delivery is vital in 2017 and beyond.

But consumers also are drawn to companies that share their values. We get that, and Nestlé has shown what we stand for, whether through our investments in helping families thrive, our support for and commitment to mitigating climate change, or our work to create strong career opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds. Our purpose is as clear today as it was during the earliest days of our existence: enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. Nestlé believes contributing to society is what will ensure the long-term success of our company.

So where is Nestlé going? How are we going to chart new ground at the same time that we’re cultivating the iconic brands you know and love? I’ll give you three hints: Freshly, Sweet Earth, and Blue Bottle Coffee. These investments and acquisitions dovetail with the company we are and have moved us forward on the path toward the company we want to be.

Nutrition on your doorstep

A marriage works best when both partners bring something unique to it. Nestlé USA and Freshly, a leading supplier of direct-to-consumer healthy prepared meals, are a well-paired match. Nestlé USA acquired a minority interest in Freshly over the summer, driving Nestlé into the $10 billion-a-year market for online prepared meals, rapidly growing in the United States. Freshly was founded by time-pressed professionals who didn’t have time to cook but still wanted healthy meals. Nestlé’s investment will help the company build an East Coast kitchen and distribution center in 2018 as it prepares to expand to nationwide service. That will allow families all over the U.S. to access tasty, nutritious meals with supreme convenience. While Freshly brings advanced analytics and a highly effective distribution network, Nestlé’s R&D, nutrition, and sourcing expertise will benefit Freshly and customers.

Increasing plant-based options

Today, as many as half of all American consumers want more plant-based foods in their diet, and 40 percent are open to reducing meat consumption. Increasing nutritious plant-based options can have positive impacts for our consumers and for our planet. Sweet Earth, a manufacturer based in Moss Landing, California, was ahead of this trend and now delivers award-winning frozen meals, burritos, breakfast sandwiches, and chilled plant-based burgers and proteins in more than 10,000 stores. Nestle USA’s acquisition of Sweet Earth, which we announced in September, aligns with our strategic priorities to expand our portfolio of vegetarian and flexitarian choices to service modern health trends. The company’s unique and nutrient-dense product line gives Nestlé USA a leading position in this emerging space.

Impeccable quality and sourcing

Nestlé is the world’s largest coffee producer, with nearly 5,500 cups consumed every second around the world. Nescafé is available in more than 180 countries, and Nespresso has nearly a half million daily visits to its e-commerce platforms. Joining the family is Blue Bottle Coffee, a high-end specialty coffee roaster and retailer in Oakland, California. Coffee aficionados value the company’s uncompromising attention to taste, freshness and sustainability. Nestlé acquired the company in September, which will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity. Under our umbrella, Blue Bottle Coffee now has access to Nestlé’s global consumer reach, bringing an exquisite product to coffee-lovers worldwide. As Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan put it when we announced this partnership, “We felt a real kinship with the Nestlé team and knew it was the right move for us.”

This trifecta of smart, sustainable businesses produces high-quality products to satisfy sophisticated and conscientious consumers. Through innovation and precision, they each have filled a need in the American market, and their customers’ loyalty and passion for their products reflects their success. As the world’s largest food and beverage company, Nestlé sees in each of these brands the potential for a symbiotic relationship that will help them reach new customers while allowing Nestlé to delve into exciting and expanding new markets.

Our new partners will give us fresh eyes and new ways of thinking about the way we go about the business of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. Each new investment Nestlé makes in the years ahead will indeed say something about us. Our customers — including those already loyal to Freshly, Sweet Earth and Blue Bottle Coffee — should know that Nestlé will stay laser-focused on their wants and needs.

Learn more about new Nestlé family members Freshly, Sweet Earth, Blue Bottle, and, most recently, Chameleon Cold-brew.

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