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Nestlé expands into organic market through majority stake in Terrafertil

In an effort to expand its profile in healthy foods, Nestlé has bought a majority stake in Terrafertil, a company selling natural and organic plant-based foods. The purchase also counters weaknesses in the packaged goods sector. Terms were not disclosed.

For Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company, a stake in Terrafertil is in line with its strategic priorities to build out its portfolio of vegetarian and flexitarian choices.

“Terrafertil’s products, through its flagship brand Nature’s Heart, span several food and beverage categories,” said a Nestlé spokesperson. “The products are wholesome, nutritious, and the majority are organic. Terrafertil’s products are complementary to Nestlé’s existing food and beverage portfolio.”

Terrafertil was formed nine years ago in Ecuador by three brothers and two cousins. It is the only BRC Grade A grower and producer of golden berries – an Andean superfood high in vitamins and antioxidants – in the world. The company has a presence in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and the UK, and entered the U.S. market in 2017 with the purchase of Essential Living Foods.

Terrafertil will continue to be managed by its founders and will operate as a stand-alone entity, but in a press release, the owners indicated they would be looking to leverage Nestlé's distribution network, R&D capabilities, marketing knowledge, and operational efficiencies to fuel growth.

This acquisition is the latest by Nestlé to capitalize on nutrition and health trends. Last month it sold its U.S. confectionery business to the Ferrero Group for an estimated $2.8 billion, and in September 2017, it acquired Sweet Earth, a California-based, plant-based food manufacturer.

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