Nestlé has acquired a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, a high-end specialty coffee roaster and retailer based in Oakland, California.
The company operates coffee shops in major US cities and in Japan with a minimalist style that also incorporates elements of the surrounding neighbourhood. The total number of Blue Bottle Coffee shops is expected to reach 55 by the end of 2017, up from 29 at the end of last year. Blue Bottle Coffee has also launched super premium ready-to-drink and roast and ground products, sold online and in the retail market.
Blue Bottle Coffee will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity, while having full access to Nestlé’s capabilities in coffee and its strong global consumer reach. The current management and employees will retain a minority stake and continue to run the business. That includes Bryan Meehan remaining as CEO and founder James Freeman as Chief Product Officer.
Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider: “This move underlines Nestlé’s 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.”
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 Nestlé to take a long-term approach to becoming a global leader in specialty coffee. We felt a real kinship with the team and knew it was the right move for us.”