LAUSANNE, Switzerland ― Nestlé Health Science is set to acquire a majority stake in $100m collagen-focused nutrition and supplement brand Vital Proteins, as it further leans into the wellness space.
The deal comes at a time when sales of collagen-based food, beverage and beauty products are skyrocketing, thanks to the continued convergence of wellness and skincare. And, as consumers increasingly look for products that claim to benefit them from the inside out, the global collagen market is hurtling towards the $6.6bn mark, according to Grand View Research.
For Nestlé, the opportunity to enter this growing area of wellness further aligns with its focus on health optimisation through nutrition ― a mission that has also prompted the company to invest in children’s nutritional brand Before Brands as well as acquire personalised nutrition brand Persona within the last two years.
According to Nestlé, the goal is to scale Vital Proteins’ reach and innovation, by fusing its expertise and resources with the startup’s entrepreneurial spirit. “The collagen nutrition market is growing, and Vital Proteins has shown its strength by becoming a full lifestyle brand which will perfectly complement our other vitamin, mineral and supplement brands,” explained Greg Behar, CEO of Nestlé Health Science.
Launched in 2013 by former NASA Engineer Kurt Seidensticker, in just 6 years Vital Proteins has become the leading collagen brand in America. Its portfolio of 150 unique products spans the supplement, vitamin, food and beverage categories, featuring an assortment of powders, beverages, capsules and bars.
Currently found on the shelves of 35,000 retailers in North America and Europe, including Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Walgreens and Kroger, it boasts annual sales of more than $100m. And, according to Forbes, has experienced a 50+% increase in demand for its products since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
As the first acquisition of a collagen-based wellness company to date, the deal highlights the growing opportunities that exist within not only the functional nutrition space but the collagen category more specifically.
An increasing number of collagen-focused products have come to market over the past couple of years, from SkinnyPop’s collagen popcorn and Care/Of’s ingestible collagen line to the UK’s first vegan collagen from Ancient + Brave.
Now, with the backing of a global CPG company the category has the potential to drill further into the mainstream and meet customers where they are.