Nestlé USA, Glendale, Calif., announced plans to acquire Sweet Earth, a plant-based foods manufacturer based in Moss Landing, Calif. The acquisition gives Nestlé immediate entry into the plant-based foods segment.
Sweet Earth produces frozen meals, burritos, breakfast sandwiches and chilled plant-based burgers and proteins 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," says Paul Grimwood, chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA. "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 48-item product lines in a 40,000-square-foot facility.
"Our products meet the demands of flavor-forward consumers who want more plant-based foods, especially Millennials who want convenient, real food and flexitarians who are looking to include more vegetables and plant-based proteins in their diet," says Kelly Swette, chief executive officer of Sweet Earth. "Nestlé's acquisition validates what forward-thinking consumers and retailers have been demanding for a while -- more wholesome and sustainable choices."
Sweet Earth will continue to be led by Kelly and Brian Swette; the business will remain independent with support from Nestlé USA's food division.