Nestle SA announced that it has acquired a majority stake in the high-end specialty coffee roaster and retailer Blue Bottle Coffee, a move that shows Nestle’s ambition to expand in the U.S. coffee market.
The Swiss company will acquire 68 percent stake in Blue Bottle, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing that a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the details haven’t been made public. Nestle is one of the biggest companies in the global package coffee market, running coffee brands such as Nespresso and Nescafe. But it only has little market shares in the U.S.
The Oakland, California-based Blue Bottle has been expanding rapidly in the recent years. It opened its first store in Oakland 15 years ago. It is expected to have 55 stores open by the end of the year, up from 29 at the end of last year, Nestle said Thursday.
Silicon Valley likes the premium coffee company. Blue Bottle has raised about $120 million over three rounds of funding.
Nestle CEO Mark Schneider: “This move underlines Nestle focus on investing in high-growth categories and acting on consumer trends. Blue Bottle Coffee’s passion for quality coffee and mission-based outlook make for a highly successful brand. Their path to scale is clearly defined and benefits from increasing consumer appreciation for delicious and sustainable coffee.”
Nestle said Blue Bottle will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity.
Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan: “My goal as CEO has been to secure a sustainable future for Blue Bottle Coffee that would enable it to flourish for many years to come. I’m excited to work with Nestle to take a long-term approach to becoming a global leader in speciality coffee. We felt a real kinship with the team and knew it was the right move for us.”