Swedish food tech startup Nick’s raises $100M to make the world healthier with its sugar-free snacks and ice cream
Sugar tastes good but too much of it is also bad for your health. American adults consume an average of 77 grams (about 18 teaspoons) of sugar per day. This adds up to around 60 pounds of added sugar each year, per person– that’s six, 10-pound bowling balls. That’s also more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day (100 calories per day for women) of dietary guidelines recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).
Experts say that excessive sugar intake is a major cause of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancers, dental issues, and a whole slew of other diseases. Studies have also shown through brain scans that sugar is as addictive as cocaine, yet we continue to consume it at a dangerous rate. Where’s all this added sugar coming from? Beverages, snacks, and ice creams are the leading source of added sugars. We all love snacks and ice creams but most of the ones in our grocery stores are filled with sugar. What if there is another way?
Enter Nicks, a Swedish food-tech startup that sells sugar-free snacks and ice cream to make the world healthier. In 2014, the founder of Nick’s, Niclas “Nick” Luthman, was diagnosed as a pre-diabetic, so he was forced to change his diet and lifestyle and that was how Nicks was born.
Today, Nick’s announced it has raised $100 million in a funding round led by investment companies Kinnevik, Temasek, and Ambrosia Investments, with participation from Gullspang, venture capital firm Peak Bridge, fund Capagro, and investment company Nicoya. To date, Nick’s has raised $160 million to date.
Nick’s will use the funding proceeds to bolster growth in Europe and the United States, expand the product portfolio and double its store count in 2022. So far, Nick’s said it had expanded to 6,700 stores this year in the U.S. from 4,500 stores in 2020, and doubled its ice cream business in its home market Sweden.
“We are incredibly excited to support Nick’s on their mission of providing consumers with more choices of healthy ice cream and snacks. When we look at potential food investments, we look for companies that are addressing and taking advantage of tailwinds within consumption patterns, the importance of health, and sustainability. Nick’s fits squarely into these areas and we have been impressed by the strong market traction across the US and Europe, we look forward to joining their journey of building a global brand,” says Magnus Jakobson, Investment Director at Kinnevik.
Founded in 2017 by Carl Backlund and Niclas Luthman, the Sweden-based Nick’s has expanded to 16 markets including the US and UK with their “Better For You” snacking treats. With a proprietary blend of sweeteners and exclusive patent-protected ingredients, Nick’s delivers the experience of full fat, full sugar snacks with a fraction of the calories and no added sugar.
“We are very excited that our investors, new and current, continue to believe in and want to be part of our journey to provide fantastic snacking experiences without compromising our consumers’ health. This investment will enable us to continue revolutionizing the global snacking market with groundbreaking innovation,” said Stefan Lagerqvist, Group CEO.
“We’ve seen over the last year how much consumers trust Nick’s to bring them outstanding tasting products with revolutionary nutritionals. Consumers can’t get enough of our ice cream pints, protein bars, and most recently our Cookie Krams. We can’t wait to use this funding to bring more new Nick’s products consumers love across more snacking categories,” said Carlos Altschul, CEO of North America.