Swiss food and beverage giant Nestlé SA is looking to sell most of its North American packaged water brands in favor of more "premium" international brands.
In a June 11 news release, Vevey-based Nestlé said it will "explore strategic options, including a potential sale, for the majority of the Nestlé Waters business in North America, excluding its international brands. This review is expected to be completed by early 2021."
That move would include regional brands such as Poland Spring, Deer Park, Ozarka, Ice Mountain, Zephyrhills, Arrowhead and its office beverage delivery services operating under the ReadyRefresh and Pure Life brands. The North American water business has annual sales of more than $3.5 billion, according to Nestlé.
Nestlé will instead focus on its Perrier, S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna brands. As it does, Nestlé said it will be able to focus on sustainability brands, pledging to "achieve carbon neutrality" for the premium brands, improve its water stewardship and drive more work in the circular economy by using more recycled PET and rolling out "alternative delivery systems."
As the Wall Street Journal notes, though, unloading low-value brands for those that sell at a premium will make it easier for Nestlé to meet those sustainability goals.
Selling off the water businesses is only part of Nestlé's sustainability goals. At the start of June it announced it had successfully shifted its Smarties-brand sharing block-sized chocolate bars to a recyclable paper wrapper, rather than plastic or laminate packaging, which is difficult to recycle.