Nestle buys meal delivery startup

Written by James Shea

Food conglomerate Nestlé has acquired Freshly, a startup meal delivery service, in a deal valued at $950 million. The deal closed Oct. 30.

Freshley was founded in 2015, and according to a release, the deal gives Nestlé a deeper understanding of what and how people eat at home as well as world-class research. The company will also get access to Freshley’s specialized consumer analytics platform and distribution network to fuel growth opportunities within the Freshly business and across Nestlé’s portfolio

“We are excited to welcome Freshly to the Nestlé family,” Nestlé USA Chairman and CEO Steve Presley said. “Consumers are embracing ecommerce and eating at home like never before. It’s an evolution brought on by the pandemic but taking hold for the long term. Freshly is an innovative, fast-growing, food-tech startup, and adding them to the portfolio accelerates our ability to capitalize on the new realities in the U.S. food market and further positions Nestlé to win in the future.”

Nestlé purchased a 16 percent stake in Freshly in 2017 as a strategic move to evaluate and test the burgeoning market. Freshly pioneered the direct-to-consumer prepared meal delivery channel and is known for its use of standard-setting technology and analytics. Growing year-over-year since launching in 2015, Freshly is now shipping more than one million meals per week to customers in 48 states. Its 2020 forecasted sales are $430 million.

“We are extremely excited to expand our relationship with Nestlé,” Freshly CEO Michael Wystrach said. “Our mission is to make eating healthy easy by bringing nutritious, high-quality meals directly to customers’ homes. Convenience and nutrition are driving forces in the future of food and our becoming a part of the world’s largest food company confirms that. With Nestlé, we will have access to resources, research and development, and years of experience that we can tap into to catapult our growth plans and move closer to our goal of being in every household in America.”

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