Nestle to Buy Sweet Earth Foods, California Maker of Plant-Based Foods

By Saabira Chaudhuri Features Dow Jones Newswires

Nestle SA has acquired Sweet Earth Foods, a maker of plant-based foods like "harmless ham" and "benevolent bacon," its latest effort to respond to rapidly changing consumer tastes.

Continue Reading Below

Buying the 6-year-old Moss Landing CA company gives Nestle a foothold in the small but promising market for plant-based foods, which it expects will reach $5.3 billion worldwide by 2020. The acquisition comes less than three months after Nestle said it had bought a stake in subscription-meals company Freshly, which sells healthy, prepared meals to consumers across the U.S.

The owner of KitKat chocolate, Nescafe coffee and Maggi noodles, and its peers are wrestling with a fast-changing market, as consumers shift from packaged food to fresher, healthier options that are often bought online.

"In the United States, we're experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins" said Paul Grimwood, CEO of Nestle's U.S. arm. "One of Nestle's strategic priorities is to build out our portfolio of vegetarian and flexitarian choices in line with modern health trends."

Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at saabira.chaudhuri@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

Continue Reading Below

September 07, 2017 07:04 ET (11:04 GMT)