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Nestlé moves into plant-based foods with acquisition

Nestlé USA is to acquire Sweet Earth, a plant-based foods manufacturer based in Moss Landing, Calif. to give Nestlé immediate entry into the plant-based foods segment.

Nestlé moves into plant-based foods with acquisition

Nestlé USA is to acquire Sweet Earth, a plant-based foods manufacturer based in Moss Landing, Calif. The acquisition is said to give Nestlé immediate entry into the plant-based foods segment, which it says is growing by double digits and expected to become a $5 billion market by 2020. Sweet Earth’s portfolio spans all meal occasions, diversifying Nestlé’s offering beyond what the company claims is its existing category leadership in meals and snacks.

Launched in 2011 by co-founders Kelly and Brian Swette, Sweet Earth’s frozen meals, burritos, breakfast sandwiches, and chilled plant-based burgers and proteins are sold in more than 10,000 stores, including independent natural grocers, Whole Foods, Target, Kroger and Walmart.

“In the United States, 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,” said Paul Grimwood, Nestlé USA Chairman and CEO. “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.”

Sweet Earth produces its product lines (48 items) in a 40,000-square-foot facility at its Moss Landing headquarters. The company’s products feature global flavours and plant-based proteins like seitan (wheat-based), tofu and legumes like lentils, chickpeas and beans. Sweet Earth’s products span three core platforms: entrees, breakfast and plant-based proteins, called Righteous Meats.

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