Nestlé eyes acquisition of recipe box business SimplyCook to strengthen direct-to-consumer offerings in the UK

UK – Swiss food manufacturing giant Nestlé has agreed to acquire recipe kit company SimplyCook in a further move to strengthen its direct-to-consumer offerings in the UK.

Founded in 2014, SimplyCook combines ‘easy-to-follow’ recipes with pre-portioned flavour blends delivered directly to consumers in a recyclable, letterbox-sized box. The delivery  is made via the post service.

By Nestlé bringing the company on board, it will be able expand its portfolio of direct-to-consumer businesses at a time when “dining at home has become more important than ever”.

At home consumption on the rise

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Reduced consumer confidence and restrictions on social contact have created an environment where consumers are choosing to have their meals in their homes.

As a result US$995 million in the UK was lost due to reduced OOH food consumption during the first half of 2020.

Many consumers have continued to stay away from food restaurants as UK continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.

This shift has created an unprecedented interest in food companies offering direct to consumer offerings.

Last November, Nestlé had agreed to acquire a majority stake in UK meal kit firm Mindful Chef and the company claims that its latest investment “offers significant growth opportunities”.

Following the acquisition, SimplyCook will continue to be led by its founding team from its base in London, with the added support of Nestlé’s expertise and operations.

Simply cook joins Nestlé

Stefano Agostini, CEO for Nestlé UK & Ireland, said: “I am delighted to welcome the SimplyCook team to Nestlé.”

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As consumers focus turn to in-door consumption, Agostini notes that the food market has seen a growing demand for great-tasting, nutritionally balanced food.

He says this shift  underlines the company’s focus on investing in businesses such as SimplyCook with attractive growth prospects and acting on current trends.

“Nestlé’s experience and international know-how gives us the opportunity to expand further in the UK and beyond, making cooking more accessible for millions more consumers in far less time than we previously imagined.”

Oli Ashness, CEO of SimplyCook

“We share an ambition to make cooking more accessible by offering delicious, nutritious and convenient solutions,” Agostini said.

“This is an ideal partnership for both parties as Nestlé continues to transform its portfolio and SimplyCook accelerates its growth,” he added.

Commenting on the acquisition, Oli Ashness, CEO of SimplyCook, said: “Nestlé’s experience and international know-how gives us the opportunity to expand further in the UK and beyond, making cooking more accessible for millions more consumers in far less time than we previously imagined.”

Nestle Waters North America to ramp up bottling to nearly 1 million gallons of water a day

Meanwhile, Nestle Waters North America will be able to ramp up bottling to nearly 1 million gallons of water a day at a North Florida plant after a permit was approved by the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board.

In protest, environmentalists, considering their own legal challenge, said approval of the application will lead to further degradation of springs and rivers that are already requiring millions of dollars in restoration efforts.

 They also contended the permit, which had a US$115 application fee, involves giving away natural resources without adequate compensation.

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