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Nestlé Buys Majority Stake in “Super Fruit” Company Terrafertil

February 12, 2018

Nestlé has made another move in its strategic pivot towards healthier foods with the purchase of Latin American “super fruit” powerhouse Terrafertil. The acquisition of the Ecuador-based company will both give Nestlé a foothold in the region and broaden its portfolio in the rapidly expanding organic foods space.

The nine year old Terrafertil is managed by its three founding brothers, David, Raul, and Daniel Bermeo. It employs 400 people and has four factories in Ecuador, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile, along with distribution operations in Peru and the UK. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Terrafertil will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity, but in a press release, the Bermeo brothers indicated they would be looking to leverage Nestlé‘s distribution network, R&D capabilities, marketing knowledge, and operational efficiencies to fuel growth.

Consumer Demand for “Super Fruits” Expected to Stay Strong

Terrafertil makes and distributes juices and snacks from the golden berry. Native to Colombia and Peru and resembling a small, orange tomato, the fruit  is closely related to the tomatillo and more distantly related to the nightshades family of  plants. It is one of several “super fruits” including the Goji berry, Açaí berry, and blueberry that are highly nutritious and antioxidant-rich. The juice market alone for these products is expected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 12 percent over the next 4 years.

Nestlé Continues Push Towards Healthier Foods

In response to shifting consumer trends, Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, has over the past year made a number of strategic acquisitions, including Sweet Earth – a California-based, plant-based food manufacturer.

At the time, Paul Grimwood, Nestlé USA chairman and CEO said “One of Nestlé’s strategic priorities is to build out our portfolio of vegetarian and flexitarian choices in line with modern health trends.”

The purchase of Terrafertil certainly fits that mold, with Laurent Freixe, CEO of Nestlé Zone Americas saying, “We are excited to welcome Terrafertil and its employees to the Nestlé family. Its natural, organic and healthy products fully support Nestlé’s purpose to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future. This investment allows us to strengthen our presence in fast-growing categories such as plant-based foods, beverages and healthy snacks, known as ‘superfoods’ due to their high natural nutrient content.”

By David Nitchman, GAI Media

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