Nestlé USA to acquire plant-based food manufacturer Sweet Earth
Nestlé USA has agreed to acquire plant-based foods manufacturer Sweet Earth.
With this acquisition, Nestlé USA will foray into the plant-based foods segment, which is expected to become a $5bn market by 2020.
Nestlé USA chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood said: “In the US, we’re experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins. In fact, as many as 50% of consumers now are seeking more plant-based foods in their diet and 40% are open to reducing their traditional meat consumption.
“One of Nestlé’s strategic priorities is to build out our portfolio of vegetarian and flexitarian choices in line with modern health trends. With unique and nutritious food for all times of the day, Sweet Earth gives Nestlé a leading position in this emerging space.”
Established by co-founders Kelly and Brian Swette in 2011, Sweet Earth offers frozen meals, burritos, breakfast sandwiches and chilled plant-based burgers and proteins to more than 10,000 stores such as Whole Foods, Target, Kroger and Walmart.
Sweet Earth manufactures its products in a 40,000ft² facility at its Moss Landing headquarters in California.
Its offerings are categorised into three different segments comprising entrees, breakfast and plant-based proteins.
Sweet Earth chief executive officer Kelly Swette said: “Our products meet the demands of flavour-forward consumers who want more plant-based foods, especially millennials who want convenient, real food and flexitarians who are looking to include more vegetables and plant-based proteins in their diet.
“Nestlé’s acquisition validates what forward-thinking consumers and retailers have been demanding for a while, more wholesome and sustainable choices.”
Sweet Earth will continue to be led by Kelly and Brian Swette and remain independent with support from Nestlé USA’s food division.
The acquisition is expected to further enhance Nestlé’s portfolio.
Nestlé recently acquired an equity stake in Freshly, a direct-to-consumer delivery service.
Image: Sweet Earth products. Photo: courtesy of Nestle USA.