Latin America has long played an important part in Nestlé's history. Brazil was one of the first countries targeted by the original Nestlé company, and was for many years the group's 4th biggest market by revenues after the US, China and France. Mexico was the 8th. However, those positions were impacted by exchange rate fluctuations in 2020, with all Latin American markets losing their positions. Revenues from Brazil in 2020 were approx $3.2bn (SFr 2.8bn) while Mexico contributed approx $2.9bn (SFr 2.56bn). Other Latin American markets combined contributed a combined total of approx $4.8bn (SFr 4.2bn). The company began exporting condensed milk to Brazil in 1876, only nine years after the product was invented, and established its first factory there in the 1920s. Soon afterwards, Brazil's government called on Nestlé to help solve its massive coffee surplus, leading to the invention of the freeze-drying process behind the launch of Nescafe in 1930. Nestlé is now the leading food company in Brazil, Mexico and Chile, and a dominant player in several other markets including Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina. Its portfolio is made up of a broad selection of international brands, supported by local jewels in each market. In Brazil alone the company markets almost 50 separate brands across its various sectors. Nescafe still dominates the region's instant coffee market, and Nestlé is a huge force across Latin America in powdered and condensed milk and infant nutrition products, with Farinha Lactea, Ninho, Nido and Nida and other brands, though it still operates a joint venture in some countries with Fonterra for chilled dairy items. In 2002 Nestlé became the #1 chocolate manufacturer in Brazil through the acquisition of local rival Garoto. That deal was initially blocked by regulators, prompting a legal battle that has dragged on ever since and is still not resolved. Together, Nestlé and Garoto have more than 55% of Brazil's chocolate market (to 33% for Mondelez' Lacta). Other key local confectionery brands include Prestigio and Galak in Brazil, and Carlos V and Abuelita hot chocolate powder in Mexico. The group has a big presence in Brazil's biscuit sector with Passatempo and Tostines. Abuelita and Carlos V Nescau is the umbrella for a collection of chocolate flavoured drinks and cereals in Brazil, and the group is also a major player across the continent in culinary aids (with Maggi), bottled water (imported brands and local products including Sao Lourenco in Brazil and Sta Maria in Mexico), breakfast cereals and pet food. Most ice cream operations were spun off into the Froneri joint venture with R&R. Laurent Freixe is zone president for Nestlé Americas. Marcelo Melchior is president of Nestlé Brasil; Fausto Costa heads Nestlé Mexico.
Which agencies handle advertising for Nestlé? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments.
Who are the competitors of Nestlé? See Non Alcoholic Beverages Sector index for other companies
Capsule checked 15th January 2020
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Jul 2017: Ads of the Week: "Carousel". Here's a great ad from Ogilvy's David agency in Brazil for Nestlé chocolate. Directors love the challenge of the one-take shot in which an immensely complicated story sequence happens "live" in front of the camera. This isn't quite that - plenty of cuts here - but it clearly inspired the superbly inventive carousel set in which every element of our heroine's daily routine is connected through trapdoors so that they take place as it were seamlessly one after another. Lovely idea.
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