Austin’s Chameleon Cold-Brew being acquired by Nestlé USA

Nov 03, 2017
Chameleon Cold-Brew got its start in Austin in 2010.

Austin-based Chameleon Cold-Brew has been sold to Nestlé USA, one of the world’s largest food and beverage companies.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Chameleon Cold-Brew coffee will continue to be based in Austin, where it got its start in 2010, and co-founder and CEO Chris Campbell will retain his title.

“Chameleon has been extremely fortunate to grow from our hometown base of cold-brew lovers in Austin to a national brand in just a few short years,” Campbell said in a written statement. “Partnering with a world-class company like Nestlé will give us the opportunity to do so on a bigger platform. Our shared values around product integrity and commitment to sustainability made Nestlé the best choice to enable Chameleon Cold-Brew to accomplish our goals for the future.”

Chameleon says it is one of the top three refrigerated cold-brew brands in the United States and the No. 1 organic cold-brew brand in the country, citing data from SPINS, a market research firm.

More than 10,000 retailers nationwide carry Chameleon products.

In 2016, the company sold more than 4 million bottles of cold-brew coffee – and with two months remaining in 2017 Chameleon says it has already exceeded that number this year.

Chameleon’s products include ready-to-drink bottles of cold-brew coffee in flavors such as mocha, vanilla and espresso, as well as a line of cold-brew concentrates and whole-bean coffee.

Chameleon said it anticipates rolling out new product offerings in 2018.

“Chameleon is a valuable addition to our coffee portfolio and brings tremendous brand strength,” Nestlé USA chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood said. “We are committed to helping Chameleon grow into new markets and channels, while retaining its values and, of course, delicious, premium crafted coffee.”

This isn’t the first time a Nestlé entity has acquired an Austin company. In 2011, Nestle Waters North America bought Sweet Leaf Tea Co. just a month after Sweet Leaf purchased Ohio-based Tradewinds.

A purchase price wasn’t made public.

Then-Sweet Leaf CEO Dan Costello said at the time that Nestle Waters North America would be able to “offer Sweet Leaf and Tradewinds beverages to more people across the U.S.”