Nestlé is the UK's #3 confectionery company (after Mondelez and Mars) but globally it now ranks 5th after Hershey and Ferrero. A key factor in Nestlé's decline (from the global #3 position) was the sale of its US confectionery division to Ferrero in 2018 for $2.8bn. However, the engine of the global business remains the UK, as a result of Nestlé's acquisition of British confectioner Rowntree Mackintosh in 1988. Although Nestlé already owned a small selection of mainly continental European chocolate brands, Rowntree Mackintosh added products such as Kit Kat - Nestlé's biggest confectionery product globally by a considerable margin - as well as Smarties and Aero. Nestlé is also the leading confectioner in several continental European markets (mostly smaller ones such as Switzerland). It has a strategic partnership with German manufacturer Barry Callebaut to supply chocolate mass in France, Italy and Russia, and agreed an alliance in 2007 with Belgian luxury chocolatier Pierre Marcolini to pool the latter's technical and artistic expertise with Nestlé's global marketing skills. The group markets sugar confectionery in a few countries, notably now the UK and Australia, as well as parts of Latin America and Asia. It owns biscuit brands Sao Luiz, Passatempo and McKay in South America, and acquired La Universal in Ecuador and Excelsia in India in 1999. Many of the company's biggest brands derive from the UK. The two biggest confectionery lines are the Nestlé megabrand (used on Nestlé Crunch, Nestlé Milk Bar and others) and Kit Kat. Other international products include Smarties, Lion, Quality Street, Crunch, After Eight, Willy Wonka, Fruit Pastilles (or Frutips) and Polo (or Lifesavers). Popular regional brands include Garoto (in Brazil) Baci Perugina (in Italy - it's a version of Hershey's Kisses), Cailler (in Switzerland), Rossiya, Comilfo and Ruzanna (in Russia), and Orion (in the Czech Rep), among others. It has a 60% stake in Chinese confectioner Hsu Fu Chi. Nestlé's global confectionery sales for 2021 were around €7.3bn (SFr 7.5bn). Chocolate contributed just under three-quarters of that sum, with the rest split more or less equally between sugar confectionery and biscuits. Alexander von Maillot is head of global confectionery at Nestlé.
Capsule checked 19th November 2020
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Historical profile information for Nestlé Confectionery
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2018: Ferrero secured the deal to acquire Nestlé's US confectionery division, comprising a collection of local brands including Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Raisinets, SweeTarts and Nerds, as well as the license for international brand Nestlé Crunch. (The US is the only market in the world where Nestlé doesn't own KitKat; the license is held there by Hershey). Price tag was $2.8bn, or a little over three times annual sales. The purchase will catapult Ferrero into third place in US confectionery. The combination of Nestlé's brands with Ferrero's existing Kinder and TicTac, and the Ferrara Candy business it acquired last year will give the Italian company around 9% market share, well ahead of Mondelez and Lindt (both around 5%), but still some way behind market leaders Hershey and Mars on 31% and 29% respectively.
Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Oct 2015: Nestlé relaunched its Cailler brand as a super-premium bar and boxed chocolate range in direct competition with Lindt and its US subsidiary Ghiradelli. Cailler traces its heritage to the original invention of milk chocolate. Before it was acquired by Nestlé in the 1920s, Cailler had itself merged with the company founded by Daniel Peter, who 50 years earlier was the first person to successfully blend milk and bitter chocolate for commercial sale. In a completely modern twist, however, the main global sales channel for the relaunched Cailler chocolate will not be bricks and mortar retail but Amazon, which has already begun marketing the products in the US and Europe. It will also be available through travel retail outlets.
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