Nestlé USA enters online prepared meals market
Arlington-based Nestlé USA has acquired a minority interest in Freshly, which currently supplies consumers in 28 states with weekly shipments of meals.
With the move, Nestlé is entering the $10 billion online U.S. prepared meals market.
Nestlé is the lead investor in the $77 million round of new funding announced by Freshly on Tuesday.
As part of its agreement with Freshly, Nestlé USA's Food Division President Jeff Hamilton joins Freshly's board of directors.
The investment by Nestlé will help to fund Freshly's construction of a new East Coast kitchen and distribution center next year, as it prepares to expand to nationwide service.
Based in New York with operations in Phoenix, Freshly was founded in 2015 and employs 400 people. It plans to hire additional employees over the next 12 months.
With a 60,000-square-foot facility in Phoenix, Freshly currently can ship to approximately 40 percent of consumers.
With the completion of a new facility in Savage, Md., Nestlé estimates that Freshly will be able to serve about 93 percent of the U.S. population with prepared meals that can be heated in two-three minutes.