Top US food news site, Food Dive names its Business of the Year

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th December 2018

LEADING US food and beverage industry news site, FOODDIVE has announced its Company of the Year.

Nestlé​, the world’s largest food company has been aggressively remaking itself into a more agile and competitive business — no small task for a company worth roughly $US260 billion.

Nestlé​ has focused its capital spending efforts on high-growth food and beverage categories such as coffee, pet care, infant nutrition and bottled water. To do that, it has set a margin target and pledged to overhaul 10% of its portfolio.

  • CEO: Mark Schneider
  • Annual Revenue for 2017: $97 billion

This year alone, Nestlé shed its American candy business, which accounted for about 3% of its sales in the US, to Nutella owner Ferrero Group for $US2.8 billion. The deal resulted in the divestiture of iconic candies such as Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Crunch and 100 Grand. It also purchased a majority stake in Terrafertil, a Latin American natural and organic plant-based food company.

But its biggest deal occurred later in May when it paid $US7.15 billion to Starbucks to sell the chain’s coffee beans and drinks in grocery stores and other outlets around the world. This further cemented Nestlé’s footing in a segment where it already had popular brands such as Taster’s Choice, Nescafe, Chameleon Cold-Brew, Blue Bottle and Nespresso.

While M&A remains a key part of its strategy, Nestlé’s evolution also has focused internally. It’s reaped dividends from an effort to get products to market faster. A pair of new items — a frozen food line called Wildscape and the Outsiders brand of pizza that pays tribute to under-respected regional styles — made it to market in less than nine months, much faster than products are usually introduced.

And six months after purchasing plant-based foods maker Sweet Earth for an undisclosed sum, Nestlé​, which owns pizza brands such as Digiorno, Tombstone and Jack’s, introduced a cauliflower crust pizza under the Sweet Earth banner.

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