Nestle gobbles up UK recipe kit business SimplyCook

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Nestle has snapped UK recipe kit business SimplyCook as it continues to rapidly grow its home delivery business.

It is the latest in a string of acquisitions by the Swiss group to expand its direct-to-consumer operations as people spend more time at home.

Nestle said it has bought the brand, which is also sold in supermarkets and grocery stores, for an undisclosed sum.

It comes three months after Nestle bought a majority stake in healthy recipe box and frozen ready meal business Mindful Chef.

Nestle stock
Nestle has rapidly expanded its direct-to-consumer business in recent years (Steve Parsons/PA)

Last year, it also took control of US meal delivery business Freshly in a move which valued the company at 950 million dollars (£674 million).

Nestle said its latest acquisition “offers significant growth opportunities” as people eat more meals at home amid pandemic restrictions.

SimplyCook, which was founded by Oli Ashness in 2014, offers pre-portioned blends of spices and flavourings with recipes designed to help consumers make meals from around the world.

The company will continue to be led by its founding team from its base in London, Nestle said.

Mr Ashness said: “At SimplyCook we’ve always been focused on our long-standing mission to bring joy to tens of millions of meal times around the world through fantastic flavour and our simple recipes.

“The more we got talking to Nestle the more we realised that our ambitions and vision for the business aligned with what Nestle sees as the right path for the SimplyCook business.

“Nestle’s experience, operational expertise, and international know-how gives us the opportunity to expand further in the UK and beyond, making cooking more accessible for millions more consumers in far less time than we previously imagined.”

Stefano Agostini, chief executive officer for Nestle UK & Ireland, said: “This is an ideal partnership for both parties as Nestle continues to transform its portfolio and SimplyCook accelerates its growth.

“There is a growing demand for great tasting, nutritionally balanced food and this move underlines our focus on investing in businesses with attractive growth prospects and acting on current trends.”

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