Swiss food juggernaut Nestlé announced today that it’s bought a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, the coffee purveyor which started out of a shed in Oakland, California fifteen years ago. With the purchase, Nestlé hopes to expand its grasp on the coffee industry — especially in North America — where its own Nescafé and Nespresso lineups are already flourishing. The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed but Nestlé is acquiring 68% of Blue Bottle with the coffee company’s management and employees owning the rest.
According to the Specialty Coffee Association, fifteen to twenty percent of coffee consumed in the U.S. falls under the “third-wave specialty coffee” that Blue Bottle Coffee is known for. James Freeman, the company’s founder is one of the major reasons for its success and his clean and modern taste is inspired by his love of Japanese aesthetics as well as music background. “One of the biggest food companies in the world has really voted in favor of very delicious coffee. Their commitment to us was ‘We love what you do, we want to help you grow,’” Freeman said in an interview Wednesday. He expects a 70% increase in sales this year with a continued focus on cold-brew iced coffee, ready-to-drink coffee and online subscriptions for roasted beans.
Blue Bottle Coffee also expects to nearly double its brick-and-mortar store count this year from 29 to 55. We’re just hoping for a Blue Bottle Coffee x Nestlé Kit Kat bar. Let us know your thoughts on the deal.