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Nestlé Invests $100 Million in Food Delivery Startup Wonder

Nestlé Invests $100 Million in Food Delivery Startup Wonder

Food and beverage giant Nestlé invested $100 million in food delivery startup Wonder.

The capital comes with a partnership that aims to combine Nestlé’s expertise in food production with Wonder’s advanced kitchen equipment services, CNBC reported Tuesday (Nov. 7).

The companies plan to sell the kitchen equipment and prepared ingredients to businesses such as hotels, hospitals and sports arenas, according to the report.

Nestlé will make pizza and pasta tailored for the startup’s kitchen equipment and sell the equipment to clients, which include college campuses and cruise lines, per the report.

“With our partnership with Wonder, there’s this opportunity to help operators across multiple out-of-home segments be able to improve their food quality, have consistency, and actually open up some additional revenue streams that have been pretty challenged post-pandemic,” Melissa Henshaw, president of out-of-home for Nestlé, said in the report.

The collaboration will also allow Wonder to scale its operations more rapidly, according to the report.

Wonder Group, founded in 2018 by entrepreneur Marc Lore, agreed in September to acquire meal kit company Blue Apron for $103 million.

“Wonder is creating the mealtime super app, serving a broad range of occasions that feature cuisines from some of the world’s best chefs and restaurants while leveraging our culinary engineering and vertically-integrated model,” Lore said in a statement at the time. “At-home meals play a key role in this vision and have been on our strategic roadmap since the beginning.”

When considering the meal kit company acquisition, Wonder saw a chance to “accelerate our strategic position,” Lore said, and “create immediate opportunities for synergy,” broadening the omnichannel food hall’s scope.

Wonder initially intended to deliver meals via mobile restaurants that come straight to consumers’ doors but pivoted at the start of this year to a more traditional model. Effectively, the company shifted to something resembling a souped-up ghost kitchen.

“As opposed to a ghost kitchen, our Wonder locations are all vertically-integrated, meaning we control every aspect of the process — from the front-end app and sourcing of food to the cooking, delivery and every step in between,” Lore said at the time. “This high level of integration is what enables us to be hyper-precise with our cook times, timing pickups and deliveries down to the exact moment orders are ready.”