Nestlé to continue expansion in the Philippines

SOURCE: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Consumer goods giant Nestlé Philippines Inc. will be investing more in the country in the coming years, in a bid to offer new products to more markets, particularly consumers on the extreme top and bottom of the economic pyramid.

In an interview with the Inquirer on Thursday, Nestlé Philippines chairman and chief executive John Martin Miller said the company, while already serving a wide spectrum of Filipino consumers, still had markets that were largely untapped.

"We’re looking for growth in many areas. Other business opportunities are being explored. We’re serving most of the consumers in the middle, or the C and D classes, but there’s a population on the top and bottom of the pyramid that we also hope to serve," he said.

He said Swiss parent firm Nestlé SA remained committed to the Philippines, particularly as the country was considered one of the firm’s key markets.

"We’re bullish about the Philippines. There are a lot of opportunities for growth. We’re optimistic about our prospects," he said. "We want to raise the level of our investments in the Philippines. This has been fully endorsed by our shareholders."

One particular focus would be the coffee sector, he said, from which Nestlé Philippines was getting about a third of the raw materials for its second-biggest-selling brand, Nescafe. The bulk of its coffee supply came from Vietnam and Indonesia.

Moving forward, he said the company hoped to source up to 70% of its coffee requirements from local farmers.

"We want to breathe new life into the coffee-growing sector. During his recent visit here, (Nestlé SA chief operating officer Paul Bulcke) stressed our commitment to providing employment in the countryside. We want to encourage people to go back to agriculture, especially coffee farming," he said.