Nestlé sees more opportunities to expand in Philippines

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Food and beverage giant Nestlé Philippines sees more opportunities to expand its coffee and dairy businesses, while also bringing new offerings to consumers in areas such as nutrition, particularly for the elderly.

“As a company we’re deeply committed to the Philippine market. It’s a strong and growing market. We are also particularly interested in manufacturing and sourcing more from the Philippines,” Nestlé global chief executive officer Mark Schneider told reporters in a media briefing.

“For example, sourcing more coffee from the Philippines is a key initiative of ours. We have a wonderful coffee market here. We’re working with farmers on the ground to make sure that more coffee is produced locally to make sure there’s less need for imports into this country,” he said.

Schneider said Nestlé sees “exciting opportunities expanding the coffee business” in the Philippines.

Aside from this, he said Nestlé also has new growth initiatives for its dairy business, as well as see opportunities in the medical nutrition business, particularly for aging people.

“So those are areas where we believe we can make good contributions over time. But typically we don’t have one portfolio for the entire world. We target it specifically to the country and where we see the greatest opportunity,” Schneider said.

“Within these categories I mentioned, we constantly have dozens of innovations coming out. So we pride ourselves in an original innovation pipeline. And so in particular anything related to healthy ageing and nutrition for elders and also for vitamins, minerals and supplements, these are products that we intend to introduce to a greater extent into the Philippine market over time. We’re already here so we intend to do more,” he said.

For his part, Nestlé Philippines chairman and chief executive officer Kais Marzouki said the bulk of the products that the company sells are already fortified with vitamins A, D, and C, since they are aware that its consumers are generally deficient in these vitamins.

“So our innovation going forward will also be more in that direction because we really have a role as a food company to really move the needle there and make a difference,” he said.

In terms of expanding its manufacturing facilities in the country, Marzouki said the company constantly invests in expanding its factories in the country, adding that it reinvests two to three percent of its sales annually for its factories in the country.

“We have five factories in the Philippines. We are very, very proud that more than 90 percent of what you see here is made here,” he said.

Nestlé Philippines has manufacturing facilities in Cabuyao (Laguna), Cagayan de Oro, Lipa (Batangas), Pulilan (Bulacan) and Tanauan (Batangas).

On Friday, Schneider visited the Manuel L. Quezon Elementary School in Quezon City for the Nestlé Wellness Campus (NWC) event.

The NWC, which has been implemented for over 10 years now, is a program of Nestlé Philippines with the Department of Education. It is a program that tackles malnutrition and the lack of fitness among Filipino schoolchildren

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