Nestlé's profile in the US is quite different from other markets, with a focus on acquired local-only brands in addition to its traditional global pillars of pet food and bottled water. More perhaps that in any other market, Nestle's US business has been built through local acquisition: from Stouffer's in 1973 through Carnation, Purina, Haagen-Dazs (in the US only), Dreyer's, Hot Pockets, Gerber and DiGiorno among others. With the exception of Purina, few of those acquired brands have travelled beyond the Americas, while other well-established Nestlé brands - not least global powerhouses Nescafe or Maggi - have struggled to carve out a foothold in the US. After years as the #4 confectionery company here, Nestlé called it quits in 2018, selling the business to Ferrero. As a result, the US is now virtually the only country where Nestlé doesn't market confectionery (or breakfast cereals). Until 2020 it was also the only major market where it did still market ice cream. However, here too, it agreed at the end of 2019 to transfer its substantial local ice cream operations into Froneri, the part-owned but independent company that already managed the group's other ice cream subsidiaries around the globe. Another disposal was the pasta brand Buitoni, sold to private equity firm Brynwood Partners in 2020. The latest disposal is the group's large collection of locally sourced bottled waters, all of which are being sold to private equity investors in 2021 for $4bn. Yet the US remains a major market for the Swiss food giant. In 2020, it accounted for almost 31% of global revenues - or around $29.5bn - more than the next seven countries combined. Petfoods alone accounted for almost $8bn, frozen and prepared foods for $4bn, and bottled water for $4.5bn. (The latter figure will be cut by more than $3bn from the planned sale of locally sourced water brands). The group is continuing to build its presence here with selective key acquisitions. Coffee - traditionally a US weak spot for Nestlé - has been bolstered by a mammoth deal to acquire perpetual rights for Starbucks packaged coffee, as well as niche brands Blue Bottle and Chameleon Cold-Brew. Other bolt-ons include Freshly meal kits and Sweet Earth vegan options. Nestlé USA is the main corporate entity for culinary foods. Steve Presley is chairman & CEO. The local outposts of Nestlé Purina Pet Care and Nestlé Waters and other global strategic business units operate separately.
Capsule checked 4th July 2019
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Historical profile information for Nestlé USA
Adbrands Daily Update 8th Mar 2021: Within days of dumping its (lower priced) regional bottled water brands, Nestlé doubled down on the premium water segment with the purchase of ionized alkaline water Essentia. Terms were not disclosed but previous estimates have valued Essentia at as much as $500m. The brand had sales of $192m in 2020, said Nestlé. It will sit alongside Perrier, San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna in the company's slimmed down portfolio.
Adbrands Daily Update 17th Feb 2021: As first indicated last summer, Nestlé has finalised terms for the sale of all its regional bottled water brands in the US. The buyers are the investment firms One Rock Capital and Metropoulos & Co, at a price of $4.3bn. Nestlé will continue to sell premium waters Perrier, S Pellegrino and Acqua Panna in the US, but all its other brands - including Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Arrowhead and Pure Life - will transfer to the new owners. The sale price is roughly $1bn higher than those brands combined annual revenues. The disposal will reduce Nestlé's combined sales from bottled water by more than half.
Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Nov 2020: In a further diversification of its traditional business, Nestlé acquired full control of US meal delivery firm Freshly at a valuation of $950m - roughly twice current annual revenues - with up to another $550m payable on future performance. It already held a minority stake. Unlike rivals such as Blue Apron, Freshly doesn't sell meal kits to make at home but finished prepared healthy meals that just need to be reheated. In another twist, it offers its meals on a subscription plan ranging from four to 12 meals per week. Prices are at the high end compared to supermarket ready meals, ranging from $8.49 to $11.49 per meal for one before shipping costs. "Consumers are embracing e-commerce and eating at home like never before," said Nestlé US CEO Steve Presley. "It's an evolution brought on by the pandemic but taking hold for the long term."
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jun 2020: Just days after it confirmed a plan to sell its Buitoni brand in the US and Canada, Nestlé said it was also exploring options for the disposal of most of its bottled water business in North America. The company plans to retain international brands Perrier, San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, but is thinking of divesting all its local brands such as Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Zephyrhills, Ice Mountain and Ozarka as well as the purified Pure Life brand. Combined sales are around $3.6bn, but margins are low because of the costs of distribution and there is also growing pressure on the company for the amount of plastic it uses. [Updated: First to go was Nestlé Pure Life in Canada. The brand was sold in July to local rival Ice River Springs.]
Adbrands Daily Update 9th Jun 2020: In a further adjustment to its US portfolio, Nestlé agreed to sell its Buitoni pasta business in North America to private equity fund Brynwood Partners. The unit will operates as a separate entity in the US and Canada under the name of The Buitoni Food Company. Terms were not disclosed, but sales of the business being transferred were $130m, and sources said the deal valued the company at $115m. The US range comprises a collection of chilled fresh filled and plain pasta and sauces.
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