A husband-and-wife company, California-based Sweet Earth sells frozen burritos stuffed with quinoa, beans, and other vegetarian ingredients.
The Swiss conglomerate announced yesterday that this deal will boost its presence in the fast-growing plant-based market.
Nestlé USA CEO Paul Grimwood revealed that 50 percent of consumers are interested in eating vegan foods, and 40 percent are keen on reducing their meat intake.
"In the United States, we're experiencing a consumer shift toward plant-based proteins," said Grimwood.
"One of Nestlé's strategic priorities is to build out our portfolio of vegetarian and flexitarian choices in line with modern health trends."
Nestlé, which is based in Vevey, Switzerland, said Sweet Earth will provide the company with an 'immediate entry' into the emerging plant-based market.
Founded in 2011 by Kelly and Brian Swette, the startup's line of 48 meat-free products are sold nationwide at retailers such as Walmart, Kroger, Target, and Whole Foods Market.
"Nestlé's acquisition validates what forward-thinking consumers and retailers have been demanding for a while - more wholesome and sustainable choices," Kelly Swette said.
The deal with Nestlé, she said, will help get Sweet Earth into more frozen food aisles.
The startup's best-selling products are its burritos, as well as its mushroom ravioli and veggie burger frozen meals.