BRAZIL – Nestlé Health Science, the nutrition, health and wellness division of Swiss food giant Nestlé,  has strengthened its consumer health portfolio in Brazil with the acquisition of nutrition and health lifestyle brand, Puravida.

Founded in 2015, Puravida produces organic, natural and plant-based foods, as well as vitamins, minerals, and  “clean label” supplements.

NHS said the range complements its own portfolio in Brazil, which is comprised of oral nutritional supplements, powdered proteins and ready-to-drink nutritional beverages.

It further noted that it shares the belief with Puravida that nutritional supplements, vitamins and minerals play a key role in supporting health and wellness – whether for people with an active lifestyle or for those facing health challenges.

Marcelo Melchior, the CEO of Nestlé’s operations in Brazil, added: “This is a great opportunity to expand our presence in a category that grows globally from consolidated brands, contributing to our purpose of improving the quality of life of all, today and in future generations.

Following the acquisition, Nestlé plans to use its extensive retail presence to open new opportunities for Puravida’s growth.

It also plans to leverage its strong network with healthcare professionals to expand the brand’s presence in Brazil.

Bringing together Puravida and Nestlé Health Science’s deep expertise in nutrition research and development will also provide new opportunities for further innovation, expanding the breadth and depth of Nestlé’s health portfolio.

Nestlé has in recent years turned to mergers and acquisitions to expand the share of healthy foods in its food and drinks business.

In 2018, the company acquired a majority stake in Ecuador-based business Terrafertil, a firm selling organic and plant-based foods.

In February, Nestlé made an acquisition in the area of “nutrition products” with a majority stake in US-based Orgain, a supplier of protein powders, snack bars and shakes.

Last year, the group snapped up the vitamins and supplement brands of US-based The Bountiful Company in a deal valued at US$5.75bn.

Despite its efforts, the Financial Times in May last year reported on a document issued among Nestlé executives that stated that more than 60% of the company’s mainstream food and drinks could not be considered healthy under a “recognised definition of health”.

According to the Financial Times, the presentation excluded from its analysis products in sectors such as infant formula, pet food, coffee and medical nutrition.

In response, Nestlé issued a statement to say it is “working on a company-wide project to update its pioneering nutrition and health strategy”.

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