Image Source: Industria alimentica
Aug 4, 2018
With a dual focus aiming at innovation and acquisition, Nestle is remaking its image from a company basically seen in the US as chocolate and confectionery making as one that is perceived by the rest of the countries. It is now trying to be “fit for the future” with multiple categories brands including plant-based frozen foods, infant nutrition and low- calories and no-calorie beverages.
“In the US, when you talk about Nestle, people typically go to chocolate. Whereas, in the rest of the world, Nestle is known as a leader in nutrition, health and wellness. There is just a greater awareness of the brand,” said Doug Munk, director of new business.
Speaking at the opening of Nestlé’s new US headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, Munk explained, “ Nestlé hopes to reshape its image in the US into one that more closely ligns with rising consumer demand for healthier products. As part of this effort, the company sold its US confectionery business to Ferrero for $2.8 billion, and it has renovated nearly 2,000 products since last year to reduce sodium and sugar “north of 5 per cent in each of those areas,” according to Munk.
He noted, “A key part of the strategy is, one, taking our core brands and really understanding how we can make them better from a nutrition, health and wellness standpoint, and make it more relevant to what consumers are looking at today, regardless of which category we are in.”
“In the past, the traditional innovation approach has been really focused on the marketers and R&D, but that is the old model of innovation. The new model is everyone is an entrepreneur. Everyone has innovative ideas,” Munk said.
Another area of innovation where Nestlé is focused is on snacking, Munk said. He explained that Nestlé is looking into three main areas of snacking: free-form, alternative ingredients, such as grain-free or plant-based, and functional ingredients that empower consumers to take control of their own health through a better diet and balanced lifestyle.
Looking forward, Munk says Nestlé will continue to pursue this multi-prong approach and believes it can ultimately expand its household penetration beyond its current 97% to 100% in the US.