USA — Nestle Health Science (NHS) has completed its acquisition of Vital Proteins, a Chicago-based manufacturer of collagen-based foods, beverages and supplements.  

NHS which is a business unit of Swiss food manufacturing group  Nestlé S.A. first acquired a majority stake in Vital Proteins in June 2020.  

Greg Behar, chief executive officer of Nestle Health Science noted that since its first acquisition 2 years ago, Vital Proteins has shown “incredible growth.”  

“We have worked to expand the brand geographically, scale up R&D and innovate on new products,” Mr. Behar said.  

“More people around the world are becoming aware of how collagen can be incorporated into their wellness journeys.” 

Tracey Halama takes over as CEO

As part of the completion of the acquisition, Tracey Halama has been named CEO of Vital Proteins. 

Halama succeeds Kurt Seidensticker, founder of Vital Proteins, who is stepping aside to assume a new role as a Nestle Health Science advisor. 

Ms. Halama most recently was president of Vital Proteins since March 2021, and earlier was chief revenue officer and senior vice president of sales at the company.  

She also has held sales and account management positions at IBM, Box, Nirvanix, CommVault, Dell EMC and Borland Software. 

“Vital Proteins’ new CEO, Tracey Halama, has been an invaluable asset to the business over the past eight years,” Mr. Behar said. “Under her leadership, we will see even further growth.” 

The announcement comes just a few weeks after Nestle Health Science agreed to acquire a majority stake in Orgain, a plant-based nutrition company that manufactures and markets powders, ready-to-drink beverages and nutrition bars. 

 In May 2021, the unit acquired Nuun, a maker of low-sugar electrolyte tablets that dissolve in water and in April 2021 acquired supplement company The Bountiful Co. for US$5.75 billion. 

Acquisitions drive performance at NHS 

The strings of acquisitions that NHS made have been a critical driver of growth for the business in 2021 with Nestle’s full year report indicating that net acquisitions increased NHS sales by 33.2%.  

Vital Proteins almost doubled its sales during the period under review while another NHS brand Garden of Life saw continued strength, driven by new product launches such as Dr. Formulated MD Protein for improved heart health and immunity.  

Sales for the newly acquired core brands of The Bountiful Company also grew at a high single-digit rate, led by Nature’s Bounty and Solgar. 

Overall, Nestlé Health Science posted organic growth of 13.5%, building on a strong sales development in 2020, with broad-based market share gains across channels and markets.  

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