The price paid by the consumer goods giant for the snack subscription service was not disclosed, but the deal was worth a reported £150m.
Nitin Paranjpe, president of Unilever’s food & refreshment business, said Graze, which was founded in 2008, was a “truly multichannel brand” which “offers personalisation, convenience and great nutrition, brilliantly meeting the needs of millennial consumers”.
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“Accelerating our presence in healthy foods and out of home this is an excellent strategic fit for the Unilever food & refreshment business, and a wonderful addition to our stable of purpose driven brands,” he added.
“We look forward to working with the Graze team to grow the business, leveraging their tech and ecommerce expertise for our wider portfolio, and offering more consumers the opportunity to snack in a healthier way.”
Anthony Fletcher, chief executive of Fraze, said the deal “marks a transformational moment in Graze’s growth journey”.
“Graze believes that learning from Unilever’s sustainable living plan will become a key driver for the business,” he said.
“Graze has an incredibly exciting future ahead as part of Unilever and we look forward to working closely with the team to keep on inventing new healthy snacks, as well as continuing to work to understand the role technology can play in improving the food industry.”
Nick Cooper, global executive director at branding agency Landor, said: “Unilever has a good track record when it comes to purchasing and then nurturing smaller brands. Its innovation and investment incubators have given it expertise in growing those smaller, more entrepreneurial brands. That’s why this deal makes sense for Graze.
“In the short term, Unilever will likely leave Graze alone, both as a brand and an organisation. That’s certainly what it did with Ben & Jerry’s. Except Graze will be able to tap into the consumer goods giant’s global distribution channels and reach new customers.”