LONDON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Nestle’s high-priced purchase of a majority stake in California-based coffee bar chain Blue Bottle this week, highlights how big companies are seeking exposure to fast-growing premium brands driven by millenials.
Industry experts are predicting more deals will follow in the highly fragmented coffee market, which provides richer profit margins than mainstream packaged food and drink.
Coffee - Deals - JAB - Holding - Co
Since 2015 there have been nine coffee deals by JAB Holding Co, owned by Europe’s billionaire Reimann family. With brands like Douwe Egberts and Tassimo sitting alongside Blue Bottle rival Intelligentsia, JAB now owns the second-biggest packaged coffee business behind Nestle, owner of Nescafe and Nespresso.
“There are certainly going to be further purchases at all levels of the price tier,” said Matthew Barry, beverage analyst at Euromonitor International, adding that any company that is not doing acquisitions risks falling behind.
Month - Italy - Massimo - Zanetti - Majority
Earlier this month, Italy’s Massimo Zanetti bought a majority stake in Indonesian roaster Caswell’s and in August, Italy’s Lavazza bought a stake in France’s Espresso Service Proximite, its third acquisition in less than two years.
In May, Lavazza’s chief executive told Reuters the company could put together more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) for acquisitions.
Switzerland - Nestle - Deal - Blue - Bottle
Switzerland’s Nestle announced its deal with Blue Bottle late on Thursday. Its few dozen coffee bars are part of the so-called third wave coffee movement in the United States, which emphasizes quality beans and expertly-made drinks.
Analysts see the deal as evidence that an energized Nestle, under its new chief executive, is taking steps to reconnect with consumers, particularly young ones.
Portfolio - Growth - Areas - Patrik - Schwendimann
“It emphasizes the wish to actively work on the portfolio and build on attractive growth areas,” said Patrik Schwendimann, analyst at Zuercher Kantonalbank.
The deal gives Nestle entrance to high-end bars that are part refreshment and part theater, with space-age “siphon” or “vacuum” brewers. While niche, these outlets are seen as testing...
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