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Nestle to buy plant-based protein firm Sweet Earth

FBR Staff Writer Published 11 September 2017

Nestlé has agreed to purchase US-based Sweet Earth to enter plant-based protein market.

Sweet Earth produces products ranging in plant-based proteins like wheat-based seitan, tofu as wells as legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and beans.

The food company focuses majorly in three core platforms which include entrees, breakfast and plant-based proteins, known as Righteous Meats.

With this transaction, Nestlé is seeking to focus on building its portfolio in the line of vegetarian and flexitarian choices and anticipates reaching $5bn across the world by 2020.

As per the deal, co-founders Kelly and Brian Swette will continue to operate Sweet Earth independently with support from Nestlé USA’s food division.

Founded in 2011, Sweet Earth supplies a range of products such as frozen meals, burritos, breakfast sandwiches, and chilled plant-based burgers and proteins across 10,000 stores including independent natural grocers, Whole Foods, Target, Kroger and Walmart.

Nestlé USA chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood said: “In the United States, we’re experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins.

“In fact, as many as 50 percent of consumers now are seeking more plant-based foods in their diet and 40 percent are open to reducing their traditional meat consumption.”

In June, Nestlé has acquired a minority stake in Freshly, a supplier of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) healthy prepared meals.

Nestlé USA's food division president Jeff Hamilton has joined Freshly's board of directors, as a part of the transaction.

Nestle offers a range of products related to food and beverage sectors. The company manages a workforce of around 51,000 employees across the US.


Image: Nestlé to acuire Sweet Earth. Photo: Courtesy of © 2017 Nestlé.