Nestle SA, one of the world’s leading packaged food makers, plans to expand its range of natural and organic products in Brazil, which is its fourth-largest market globally. This initiative is part of Nestle’s wider strategy for the Americas to reduce the amount of sugar, sodium, and saturated fats in its food products. According to the Brazil head of Marketing and Communications, Frank Pflaumer, the company’s local subsidiary has 25 new initiatives in the pipeline for 2019, primarily aimed at promoting healthier and natural products.
Like many other food makers, Nestle is responding to the growing consumer trend towards healthier food options. Over the last five years, Nestle Brazil has allocated around $99.66 million to innovation, with much of that investment aimed at developing more natural and organic products. Pflaumer declined to disclose how much Nestle plans to spend on capital expenditure in the coming years, but he said that investment levels would remain high.
Since 2014, Nestle Brazil has already cut over 14,000 metric tons of sugar, 5,000 tons of saturated fats, and 300 metric tons of sodium from its manufacturing processes, demonstrating the company’s commitment to healthier food options.
Last year, Nestle opened a new quality assurance lab and launched its first organic food line in Brazil. Pflaumer said that producing organic food on a large scale is the most challenging aspect of this initiative. However, Nestle is about to expand its organic product line with four flavors of new organic baby food in May.
The company is also partnering with startups, such as Colombian delivery firm Rappi, to find new ways of delivering its products to consumers. While Nestle is exploring potential acquisitions, the company is focused on four priority business areas: coffee, pet care, children’s nutrition, and water.
Nestle has recently acquired several businesses outside Brazil, such as Blue Bottle Coffee, Sweet Earth vegetarian foods, Chameleon Cold-Brew Coffee, and Freshly. In 2018, the Swiss company also acquired a majority stake in Terrafertil, an Ecuadorian firm that sells natural and organic plant-based foods.