Nestlé Acquires Majority Stake in Blue Bottle Coffee
Nestlé today announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, a high-end speciality coffee roaster and retailer based in Oakland, CA.
Blue Bottle, founded in 2002, was an early entrant to the artisan coffee market. The company takes a hands-on approach to every step of micro-roasting, with the goal of discovering and preserving “the true nature of coffee.” The company operates coffee shops in major U.S. cities and in Japan, with a unique minimalist style that also attempts to incorporate elements of surrounding neighborhoods. The total number of Blue Bottle Coffee retail locations is expected to reach 55 by the end of 2017, up from 29 at the end of last year. The company had previously raised $120 million in funding from investors such as GV, Index Ventures, Lowercase Capital, and Fidelity Management and Research Company.
“This move underlines Nestlé’s focus on investing in high-growth categories and acting on consumer trends,” said Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider. “Blue Bottle Coffee’s passion for quality coffee and mission-based outlook make for a highly successful brand.”
With the acquisition of Blue Bottle, Nestlé enters the fast-growing, super premium coffee segment with an iconic brand for discerning coffee drinkers. According to Nestlé, the acquisition of Blue Bottle Coffee allows the consumer giant to strengthen its position in the U.S. coffee market as well as internationally. It also offers opportunities to grow in super premium ready-to-drink roasted and ground coffee, largely through online subscription.