Nestlé USA has acquired a minority stake in online meal provider Freshly, the latest gauntlet thrown down in the contest to deliver food quickly. Amazon.com Inc.’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) announced $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods market Inc. (Nasdaq: WFM) is already changing the M&A battleground.

"While most food choices are still made in supermarkets, it's clear that consumers are responding to a growing universe of direct-to-consumer options, made possible through innovation," says Nestlé USA CEO Paul Grimwood. The company is leading a new $77 million funding round for Freshly. The terms of Nestlé USA's investment were not disclosed. Nestlé USA owns the DiGiorno, Häagen-Dazs and Hot Pockets brands, and recently put its U.S. candy business up for sale.

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