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Nestlé Buys Stake in Freshly, Putting Healthy Food Deliveries Top of the Menu – Wall Street Journal

On June 20, this news from Nestlé’s U.S. division became one of the top food and health stories of the day. In addition to the Journal and the Financial Times, the news was also picked up by technology and food trade publications including TechCrunch and Food Processing.

The company’s press release got a lot of attention, despite the fact that its minority investment was alongside other investors in a $77 million funding round — a relatively small amount for a behemoth like Nestlé. So let’s explore what the Switzerland-based food and drink company did right in its announcement and where it could have improved.

What Works:
  • Strong News Hook. Nestlé highlighted at the top of its press release that the deal helps it enter the “fast-growing” healthy prepared meals market, capitalizing on the popular nutrition trend. Nestlé also backed up the trend with data: the online prepared meals market in the U.S. is worth $10 billion. Both Food Processing and Reuters used this data in their stories. Nestlé illustrated the trend by calling out the many types of healthy menus Freshly serves, including gluten-free, high-protein and sugar free.
  • Make it Tangible. In any investment or acquisition, readers want to know how the money will be used. The third paragraph of Nestlé’s press release spelled out what Freshly will be doing with the investment: to help construct a new kitchen and distribution center on the East Coast as part of its nationwide expansion. That’s something everybody can relate to.
What Doesn’t Work:
  • Missing Background. Nestlé could have provided more relevant background, such as Freshly’s annual sales, growth rates or market share, which would have helped readers put the announcement into context. The company could also have highlighted how much funding Freshly has received so far and which round of financing it’s in.
  • Missing Detail. Nestlé also missed an opportunity to name some of the other investors — strategic or otherwise — in this financing round. Fortune and TechCrunch were able to get the names of the other investors.
What We’ve Learned: Follow the Trend and Paint a Picture

Nestlé, known for its namesake chocolate and brands including Nescafé, did an excellent job showing how it is on the cutting edge of a trend — online sales of direct-to-consumer healthy prepared meals. The press release from the food and drinks giant also painted a picture of how the proceeds of the financing round will be used.

In addition, the press release showed that the news was not just an investment but a partnership: Freshly will learn from Nestlé’s R&D, nutrition and food sourcing expertise, while Nestlé will gain access to the distribution skills and customer data of this tech savvy start-up. This nicely backs up the narrative that Nestlé is serious about entering this fast-growing industry.

Check out Nestlé’s press release here and let me know in the comments section below why you think it was so effective and what lessons you will likely apply in your next press release.

Alex Armitage is co-founder and CEO of Publiqly, whose step-by-step systems help small and mid-sized companies write press releases that journalists and bloggers can’t ignore. Were you forwarded this post? Sign up to receive our weekly press release lessons directly in your inbox.

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