ZURICH, June 20 (Reuters) - Nestle said on Tuesday it has acquired a minority stake in U.S. group Freshly, a provider of direct-to-consumer freshly prepared meals, its latest step to improve the health profile of its sprawling portfolio.
The Swiss food giant said it was lead investor in a round of new funding for Freshly, helping it gain access to the $10 billion market for prepared meals in the United States. It did not disclose financial terms.
The investment will help Freshly build a new East Coast kitchen and distribution centre in 2018 as it prepares to expand its U.S. service nationwide.
Nestle USA's Food Division President Jeff Hamilton would join Freshly's board of directors.
Nestle said last week it may sell its roughly $900 million-a-year U.S. confectionery business, which includes Butterfinger and BabyRuth. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)