Nestlé acquires healthy meal kit company

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Left to right: Mindful Chef co-founders Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries
Left to right: Mindful Chef co-founders Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries

Related tags: frozen

Nestlé has acquired a majority stake in prepared frozen foods and recipe box company Mindful Chef, as it expands its direct to consumer offering.

Founders Giles Humphries, Myles Hopper and Robert Grief Gran will remain as shareholders and continue to run the brand as part of its management team – alongside support from Nestlé’s food business.

Consumer brand investor Piper, which invested in Mindful Chef in 2018, will exit the business. Some other existing shareholders will retain their stakes in the company.

Nestlé UK & Ireland chief executive Stefano Agostini welcomed the Mindful Chef team, commending the brand for its clear purpose and success via its direct to consumer model.

“Nestlé and Mindful Chef 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,” ​Agostini added.

Accelerate growth plans

“It means this is an ideal partnership for both parties as Nestlé continues to transform its portfolio and Mindful Chef accelerates its growth plans.”

Founded in 2015, Mindful Chef has delivered 9.5m meals to UK households. The brand has been appointed the official nutrition partner for the English Institute of Sport and campaigns for better heart and circulatory health in partnership with the British Heart Foundation.

The meal kit company saw two successful crowdfunding drives in 2016 and 2017, amassing support from more than 800 crowdfund investors. Famous investors included tennis star Andy Murray, Olympian Victoria Pendleton and England rugby team player Will Greenwood.

Giles Humphries, Mindful Chef co-founder, commented: “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.”

Terms undisclosed

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

Commenting on the acquisition, Mindful Chef chief executive Tim Lee 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.

“Nestlé’s experience and support gives us 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.”

The acquisition expands Nestlé’s portfolio of direct to consumer businesses, with Mindful Chef joining the ranks of coffee brands Nespresso and Nescafé Dolce Gusto, as well as it recently acquired pet care offerings from Tails.com and Lily’s Kitchen.

Meanwhile, ready meal manufacturer Symington’s has launched its own direct to consumer platform​ in response to increased demand and a shift toward online sopping by consumers.

Related topics: Frozen, Operations

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