Nestlé takes majority stake in healthy recipe box Mindful Chef

Consumer brands specialist investor Piper, which invested in Mindful Chef in 2018, will exit the business
Miles Hopper and Giles Humphries of Mindful Chef
From left: Miles Hopper and Giles Humphries, co-founders of Mindful Chef

Nestlé has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Mindful Chef, a healthy recipe box and prepared frozen meals company. Some existing shareholders will retain their stake in the company while consumer brands specialist investor Piper, which invested in Mindful Chef in 2018, will exit the business.

School friends Giles Humphries, Myles Hopper and Robert Grieg-Gran founded the company in 2015. The trio of entrepreneurs and members of the management team remain shareholders and continue to run the business with the additional support and capabilities of Nestlé.

Stefano Agostini, chief executive of Nestlé UK & Ireland said: “I’m delighted to welcome the Mindful Chef team to Nestlé. Giles, Myles and Rob have built a brand with a clear purpose, offering consumers a trustworthy proposition that makes healthy eating easy through a direct-to-consumer subscription model.”

Agostini explained both companies share an ambition to increase the availability and convenience of healthy food while paying close attention to how ingredients are sourced and reducing food waste. “This is an ideal partnership for both parties as Nestlé continues to transform its portfolio and Mindful Chef accelerates its growth plans.”

Mindful Chef: Healthy meal delivery

Mindful Chef has delivered more than 9.5 million meals to households across the UK. Consumers choose from 16 specially curated healthy recipes each week.

The combination of high quality, sustainably sourced ingredients and delicious, nutritionally balanced meals has made Mindful Chef the highest rated recipe box in the UK according to independent review site Trustpilot.

Tim Lee, chief executive of Mindful Chef, said: “We constantly challenge ourselves to be aware of our actions and the wider impact we have. The consumer response has been great, and we expect to see sales of over £50 million this year.”

For Lee, Nestlé’s experience and support give Mindful Chef the opportunity to build on this success in the UK and beyond, making healthy eating easy for more consumers. “We will continue to run the business with the same entrepreneurial, ethical and consumer-centric vision that has already brought us so much success.”

Mindful Chef’s focus on health and nutrition has seen it appointed the official nutrition partner for the English Institute of Sport.

The company has also partnered with the British Heart Foundation to raise awareness of how a healthy, balanced diet can help support heart and circulatory health.

Product-market fit

Mindful Chef’s health-focused recipe box concept was well received from the start. Following two oversubscribed crowdfunding rounds with Seedrs in 2016 and Crowdcube in 2017, the business has amassed support from over 800 crowdfund investors which include Sir Andy Murray, Victoria Pendleton CBE, and Will Greenwood MBE.

Humphries said: “We owe a great deal to these early investors who backed our vision to make healthy eating easy for hundreds of thousands of people across the UK, and it is with great pleasure that we can now reward these investors for their support.”

Mindful Chef is a certified B-Corp and for every meal sold, a school meal is donated to a child living in poverty through the firm’s One Feeds Two initiative.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition follows hot on the heels of Nestlé’s acquisition of meal delivery company Freshly.