Nestlé continues Brazilian confectionery acquisitions, gaining Grupo CRM premium chocolate business

Nestlé has revealed a significant South American expansion move in confirming a deal with Advent International, acquiring a majority stake in Brazilian premium chocolate business Grupo CRM, reports Neill Barston.

The company operates a direct-to-consumer model, with more than 1,000 chocolate boutiques under the Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau brands and a strong, growing online presence.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed by either party, though the purchase is set to close in 2024 following regulatory approval requirements, but the firm said that it intended to continue CRM’s sustainability focus under its ownership.

It follows quickly on from the Swiss food giant’s move to gain control of well-established Brazilian confectionery firm, Garoto, which saw a remarkable two-decade saga play out, as the country’s government expressed concerns over a potential monopoly being created.

As for its latest deal, Renata Moraes Vichi will reportedly continue to lead the Grupo CRM operations as CEO and will remain a minority shareholder. She has been with the company for 25 years and has built up and significantly expanded Grupo CRM.

Laurent Freixe, CEO Zone Latin America at Nestlé, commented: “This acquisition further broadens and strengthens our confectionery presence in Brazil, enabling us to enter the high-end segment. Kopenhagen and Brasil Cacau offer premium chocolates that are highly appreciated by Brazilian consumers. We are pleased that Renata Vichi will continue to lead the company with her deep knowledge and passion for the chocolate business, people and brands. Together, we will explore opportunities to further enhance the company’s unique premium chocolate experience.”

As Nestle noted, Kopenhagen’s history began in Brazil in 1928 and has continuously evolved through product innovation and the consumer experience. Classic brands, such as Língua de Gato, Nhá Benta, Lajotinha, Chumbinho and Cherry Brand, are iconic and beloved by Brazilians, whether as a small treat or as a gift. The Brasil Cacau brand was launched in 2009 and is available today in hundreds of branded stores throughout Brazil.


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