The deal follows on a 16% stake in Freshly that Nestlé purchased in 2017 to evaluate and test the burgeoning market
Freshly ready meal packs
Photo (cropped) as seen on Freshly’s Facebook page

Nestlé has acquired Freshly, a New York-based prepared meal delivery company that delivers throughout the US. The deal values Freshly at $950 million, with potential earnouts up to $550 million contingent to the successful growth of the business.

The transaction, signed and closed last Friday, follows on from a 16% stake in Freshly that Nestlé purchased in 2017 as a strategic move to evaluate and test the burgeoning market.

“We are excited to welcome Freshly to the Nestlé family,” said Nestlé USA chairman and chief executive, Steve Presley, noting consumers are embracing e-commerce and eating at home like never before. “It’s an evolution brought on by the pandemic, but taking hold for the long term.”

Presley defined Freshly is an innovative, fast-growing, food-tech startup, and argued that adding it to the portfolio accelerates Nestlé’s ability to capitalise on the new realities in the US food market. “[The acquisition] further positions Nestlé to win in the future.”

Founded in 2015, Freshly delivers a menu of fresh, chef-cooked meals to customers across the country, breaking down the barriers to healthy eating by delivering nutrition and convenience at scale.

Freshly pioneered the direct-to-consumer prepared meal delivery channel and is known for its use of standard-setting technology and analytics, which will build upon Nestlé’s strong base of innovation.

Growing year-over-year since launching in 2015, Freshly is now shipping more than one million meals per week to customers in 48 states. Sales are forecast to reach $430 million in 2020.

“We are extremely excited to expand our relationship with Nestlé,” said Michael Wystrach, Freshly chief executive. “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.”

Date published: 2 November 2020

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