Nestle Waters sells Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds businesses to private equity

636492702155726279icetea.jpg

19 Dec 2017 --- Private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners has partnered up with Dunn’s River Brands to create a new strategic beverage platform. As part of the venture, the companies have acquired the Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds businesses from Nestle Waters North America. Dunn’s River Brands said Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds are expected to serve as the base for additional acquisitions of smaller high-growth brands in the fast-growing ready-to-drink tea category.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed. The purchase agreements were signed yesterday and the transaction is expected to close before year end.

Click to EnlargeSweet Leaf Tea Co. was founded in 1998 and makes a variety of sweet teas, green teas, fruit teas, zero-calorie teas and lemonades. The company acquired Tradewinds Beverage Co., a maker of slow-brewed teas, in 2010. Nestle Waters North America acquired the companies in 2011.

“The Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds brands represent a terrific foundation for the D.R.B. portfolio as consumer demand for specialty, local and functional beverage products continues to increase,” said Dan Fireman, managing partner of Fireman Capital Partners. “I am confident that F.C.P. and D.R.B.’s combined consumer and beverage sector expertise will position the D.R.B. platform for long-term growth and success.”

Kevin McClafferty, President and CEO of Dunn’s River Brands, said the partnership with Fireman Capital Partners will allow Dunn’s River Brands to draw on the private equity firm’s successful track record with consumer and beverage products.

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, McClafferty said: “We have been fans of Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds for years. Both are strong legacy brands with loyal consumer bases and distribution. This is a great opportunity for us and we look forward to further expanding these great businesses.”

“RTD tea continues to grow with consumers across the board. We are grateful to both Nestlé Waters and Fireman Capital for their confidence and support,” he adds.

“Their current craft beer platform CANarchy and legacy juice brand, Evolution Fresh, make them the ideal partner for D.R.B. as we grow the Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds brands,” McClafferty notes. “With F.C.P.’s support, we are well-positioned to attract world-class beverage brands and support the next generation of beverage companies.”

“We are excited to have the opportunity to add the Tradewinds and Sweet Leaf Tea businesses to the Dunn’s River Brands portfolio. The combined entities will form the new company The Sweet Leaf Tea Company. We believe these are very strong brands in their respective categories, and are looking forward to leaning into them with full marketing and sales support moving forward,” he says. 

In opting to sell Sweet Leaf Tea and Tradewinds, Nestle Waters North America signaled its continued shift in focus within its beverage platform. 

Fernando Merce, president and CEO of Nestle Waters North America said: “This transaction is part of our ongoing strategy to focus on strengthening our core business and drive performance through streamlined operations. “We took this difficult but important step to position us to further deliver upon our healthy hydration ambitions.”

By Elizabeth Green

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Business News

Bunge CEO Schroder to step down, takeover rumors reintensify

11 Dec 2018 --- Bunge has announced Soren Schroder will step down as CEO of the struggling agricultural giant. To ensure a smooth leadership transition, Schroder, who has headed the agriculture, food and ingredients supplier since 2013, will continue in his current role until a successor is named. The Board has established a search committee to identify the company’s next CEO.

Food Ingredients News

Flavor trends in 2019? Botanicals, ethnic, exotic and smokeless “smoke,” nuances hotly tipped for the new year, say suppliers

10 Dec 2018 --- Naturalness in flavors is expected to lead the way in 2019, although classic flavors are still anticipated to be in high demand across all categories. New combinations including botanical, ethnic and exotic flavors currently have the potential to meet consumers’ increasing demand for exciting new creations. These trends are tipped to become increasingly popular for the coming year. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with key suppliers in the flavors space, who offered their insights into what we can expect to see trending in 2019.

Food Ingredients News

Withstanding climate change: Food system organizations need strengthening, says US study

07 Dec 2018 --- US researchers are highlighting how organizations involved in the food system need to be better prepared to respond to the disasters caused by extreme weather events as well as acute disruptions caused by civil unrest and cyber attacks. Businesses and organizations involved in growing, distributing and supplying food must be able to withstand and rebound from these types of risks in a bid to improve resilience. This latest study closely follows an in-depth report last week from some of the world’s leading science academies warning that the global food system is “broken” and “collective action” is urgently needed to avert a climate change catastrophe.

Food Ingredients News

Plant-based boost: Landec acquires Yucatan Foods in US$80m deal

05 Dec 2018 --- Landec Corporation’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Apio, Inc., has acquired Yucatan Foods, L.P, adding two leading guacamole brands, Yucatan and Cabo Fresh, to its portfolio of clean label plant-based brands. The US$80 million acquisition accelerates the transformation of Landec’s packaged fresh vegetable business to a natural foods business, according to Landec CEO Molly Hemmeter. The company is seeking to keep pace with demand from “plant forward” consumers – people who are not necessarily vegan or vegetarian, but prefer the majority of their meals to be plant-based.

Food Ingredients News

Canada sets sights on plant-protein potential, notes Natural Products Canada CEO

03 Dec 2018 --- The Canadian market is an ideal space for innovation and NPD along plant-based lines, illustrated by the Canadian Government seeking to place the country as a leader in the plant-based market with a US$153 million investment in the Prairie-based Protein Industries Canada Supercluster. This, combined with the legalization of recreational cannabis which has opened the door to a whole new category of cannabis-infused foods, makes for an exciting time in Canadian food and beverages. As global food supply pressure mount, leading to increasing interest in alternative protein sources, is Canada the next plant-protein superpower?

More Articles