Nestlé Pours $100 Million into Food Delivery Startup Wonder Group

Neslte is investing $100 million into Wonder Group, Marc Lore’s food-truck-turned-regular food delivery startup.

(Photo by James Frid on Pexels)

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

You can fit a lot of food trucks into Nestlé’s nearly 600-acre global headquarters in the Swiss town of Vevey.

The food giant is investing $100 million into Wonder Group, the food-truck-turned-regular food delivery startup, the two companies announced on Tuesday. The plan is for the companies to work together to sell equipment and food to other businesses such as hotels, hospitals, and sports venues.

The Wonder Group of You

Both Nestlé and Wonder Group are at inflection points: Nestlé is contending with fairly torpid growth, and it seemingly has jitters from the soaring popularity of weight-loss drugs, which has prompted the sweet-treat maker to start developing products for consumers on drugs such as Wegovy.

For Wonder Group, the question is more about how to keep pivoting. When CEO Marc Lore conceived of the company, the idea was to have trucks fully kitted out with kitchens which would drive around delivering food. That turned out to be… not super sustainable:

  • At the beginning of this year, Wonder Group dumped its truck model to a more traditional model of delivering food from non-mobile restaurants. In February, the company opened its own brick-and-mortar shop in New York City, which Lore called “delivery 3.0” in an interview with The New York Post.
  • Wonder Group agreed to acquire meal kit company Blue Apron for $103 million in September, signaling it’s looking beyond normal restaurant delivery, where it faces stiff competition from the likes of Uber and DoorDash.

Feasting on Ads: Uber reported earnings on Tuesday, and while food delivery growth was a little less heady than in quarters gone past, the company said it was able to widen its profit margins through increased advertising revenue, a growing market for ride-hailing companies. Maybe Nestlé and Wonder Group will have to think of a way to sell ads to hotels…