Deepening Roots – Jamaica Observer


Nestlé milk products.

THE Anglo-Dutch Caribbean branch of the Swiss multinational food and beverage processing conglomerate Nestlé has pledged to deepen its roots in the region by improving links with the agricultural sector, upgrading an existing factory and expanding the product portfolio in the region and exporting market.

Josué de la Maza, Market Manager for the Anglo-Dutch Caribbean, told the Jamaica Observer a plan that includes an investment of US$4 million this year to support the modernization of the company’s Valsayn plant in Trinidad and Tobago as well as innovation in its plant portfolio. The company also said it would coordinate a marketing campaign across the region to increase brand building.

“Our strategic direction is to leverage some of these very strong brands like Maggi, like Milo, like Nescafé, that are part of the Caribbean culture…and grow it further through the expansion of new categories,” he said. declared de la Maza at the Caribbean Activity Report from his office in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Nestlé Jamaica Head Office at Ferry Pen, St Andrew.

“Nestlé in the Caribbean has strong roots and a strong portfolio of brands. We have been in the Caribbean for a long time. In Jamaica we have been here since 1939 and built the first factory in 1940.”

Nestle coordinates its Anglo-Dutch Caribbean business into three divisions – Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and the oddly-named Nestlé Caribbean Islands division which caters to other English-speaking countries in the region, including mainland territories such as Guyana and Belize, as well as the Netherlands Islands and Suriname. The Anglo-Dutch Caribbean entity was created in 2018 by the merger of Nestlé Jamaica, Nestlé Trinidad and Tobago and Nestlé Caribbean Incorporated. Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago account for 60% of Nestlé’s sales in the Anglo-Dutch Caribbean.

The company entered the regional market in 1914 through a trading agency in Trinidad and Tobago selling its condensed milk and chocolates.

Nestle dairy products.

Entering the second century in the region, de la Maza, who was named head of Anglo-Dutch Caribbean business in September 2021, says the focus is on “continued mid-digit growth ” for the next years.

In Jamaica alone, de la Maza said the company has launched more than 40 innovations in recent years — mostly pepper sauces and jerk seasonings — under the Maggi brand.

“We have other examples like Nescafé. Nescafé, is a well-known brand, but we have a sub-variety of Nescafé which is Nescafé Gold, meaning premium coffee. It has been around for a while, but we plan to invest more in developing it further, as coffee is a category that [we] can grow,” he said of another product that will be offered more to consumers in the Caribbean.

Nescafé coffee product from Nestlé.

“We operate Blue Mountain coffee thanks to the Nespresso espresso [which] is one of our most sophisticated cafes in the world. We don’t sell it directly in the Caribbean, but there are people who have imported the machines themselves and are buying the capsules. And we’re actually proud to say that we [bought] 25 percent of Blue Mountain’s coffee production. We did it in 2021.”

The Nestlé chief would not commit to a 2022 Blue Mountain coffee buying target, however, but said support would continue under a program being developed with Jamaica’s Ministry of Health. Agriculture and Fisheries. Nestlé sells the product in capsules through its Nespresso coffee brand as a premium coffee to consumers around the world.

But buying Blue Mountain coffee is not the only agricultural support that Nestlé provides to the region.

Nestlé headquarters in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland..

“We also work on a sustainable farm. We are working to improve the feeding of cows. We collect 80% of TT’s milk today under the Nestlé name. We work with young people. We have a program for young vets. We have like over 300 young vet students affected by this across the Caribbean.

Fast-growing Guyana, which is expected to see strong growth in disposable income over the next few years as it ramps up oil exports, is also targeted.

Nestlé plans to improve the marketing of its Kit Kat chocolate bars in the Caribbean.

“Some of these areas like Guyana that are seeing very strong growth in consumption, we are going to focus on that. Although I have to say that consumption is not growing as fast as the economy yet, but the growth will come. We believe that there will be an opportunity for growth in premiumization, which means a rise in the level of consumption in Guyana, as people start to improve their standard of living and start earning more. [we sell] Nescafe [in Guyana], we can drive Nescafé Gold, for example. So that’s definitely an area we’re going to be focusing on and it covers a lot of our different brands. Even when you’re talking about infant formula, we can improve the quality of infant formula in this regard in Nescafé milks. »

Joshua de la Maza.

“But not just Guyana. The Eastern Caribbean islands also have, in our view, very good potential in terms of development in the years to come. We’ve been through a very tough couple of years through the pandemic and all the tourism is coming back to these places and it’s coming back in my opinion, strong,” de la Maza said, indicating that his marketing team travels the region leaving no stone unturned in the quest for growth.

“If we look at Saint Lucia, we have strong Maggi bullion, but we have opportunities to grow Maggi soups,” he adds. “So we’re going to start tackling some of the key brand areas that we can grow further, through the right investment, local investment, in local media, in digital media and of course coverage and to delivery.”

“We also have a line extension. So I’ll give you an example. Products of vegetable origin, almond milks, coconut milk, whey milk, all these [plant-based] Milk [substitutes] grow by about 20% in the Caribbean or more [each year]. It has huge growth [potential] and we enter it. We have a brand called Nature’s Heart. We’re going to start producing locally in Trinidad and Tobago…we’ll start producing in a few months and exporting this all over the Caribbean.

Other brands such as its KitKat chocolates are also on the block for expanded sale.

“KitKat chocolate…exists in Jamaica, it exists in Guyana, it exists here in Trinidad and Tobago and in many of our islands. But its distribution can improve. So we are going to focus on that to make it grow, to have more visibility at the point of sale. And it will also help us grow.

“Today, we only export [across the region]but I can tell you that our goal with vegetable milk opens up tremendous export opportunities to Central America and parts of South America.

Nestlé Plant-Based Milk Replacer.

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