Nestlé's profile in the US is quite different from other markets, with a focus on acquired local-only brands in addition to its traditional global pillars of pet food and bottled water. More perhaps that in any other market, Nestle's US business has been built through local acquisition: from Stouffer's in 1973 through Carnation, Purina, Haagen-Dazs (in the US only), Dreyer's, Hot Pockets, Gerber and DiGiorno among others. With the exception of Purina, few of those acquired brands have travelled beyond the Americas, while other well-established Nestlé brands - not least global powerhouses Nescafe or Maggi - have struggled to carve out a foothold in the US. After years as the #4 confectionery company here, Nestlé called it quits in 2018, selling the business to Ferrero. As a result, the US is now virtually the only country where Nestlé doesn't market confectionery (or breakfast cereals). Until 2020 it was also the only major market where it did still market ice cream. However, here too, it agreed at the end of 2019 to transfer its substantial local ice cream operations into Froneri, the part-owned but independent company that already managed the group's other ice cream subsidiaries around the globe. Another disposal was the pasta brand Buitoni, sold to private equity firm Brynwood Partners in 2020. Yet the US remains a major market for the Swiss food giant. In 2018, it accounted for just over 30% of global revenues - or around $28bn - more than the next seven countries combined. Petfoods alone account for almost $8bn, water for $4.5bn, and frozen and prepared foods for $4bn. The group is continuing to build its presence here with selective key acquisitions. Coffee - traditionally a US weak spot for Nestlé - has been bolstered by a mammoth deal to acquire perpetual rights for Starbucks packaged coffee, as well as niche brands Blue Bottle and Chameleon Cold-Brew. Other bolt-ons include Freshly meal kits and Sweet Earth vegan options. Nestlé USA is the main corporate entity for culinary foods. Steve Presley is chairman & CEO. The local outposts of Nestlé Purina Pet Care and Nestlé Waters and other global strategic business units operate separately.
Capsule checked 4th July 2019
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Historical profile information for Nestlé USA
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Jun 2020: Just days after it confirmed a plan to sell its Buitoni brand in the US and Canada, Nestlé said it was also exploring options for the disposal of most of its bottled water business in North America. The company plans to retain international brands Perrier, San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, but is thinking of divesting all its local brands such as Poland Spring, Arrowhead, Deer Park, Zephyrhills, Ice Mountain and Ozarka as well as the purified Pure Life brand. Combined sales are around $3.6bn, but margins are low because of the costs of distribution and there is also growing pressure on the company for the amount of plastic it uses. [Updated: First to go was Nestlé Pure Life in Canada. The brand was sold in July to local rival Ice River Springs.]
Adbrands Daily Update 9th Jun 2020: In a further adjustment to its US portfolio, Nestlé agreed to sell its Buitoni pasta business in North America to private equity fund Brynwood Partners. The unit will operates as a separate entity in the US and Canada under the name of The Buitoni Food Company. Terms were not disclosed, but sales of the business being transferred were $130m, and sources said the deal valued the company at $115m. The US range comprises a collection of chilled fresh filled and plain pasta and sauces.
Adbrands Daily Update 12th Dec 2019: Nestlé effectively called it quits on global ice cream, transferring its biggest remaining operating subsidiary in that segment, in the US, to joint venture partner Froneri. The latter, co-owned by Nestlé with private equity investor partner PAI, already manages the food giant's ice cream business in Europe, as well as in selected other markets. Earlier this year, for example, it added Nestlé ice cream in Israel to its collection. Transaction value for the US sale was stated as $4bn, a little over twice the division's 2018 revenues. Brands include Haagen-Dazs (which Nestlé owns in the US only) and Dreyer's/Edy's, as well as Skinny Cow , Drumstick and other global ice cream products. Nestlé has a 50% stake in the enlarged Froneri, and keeps outright control of its ice cream operations Canada, Latin America and Asia, for the time being at least. However, a transfer of those subsidiaries also to Froneri may only be a matter of time.
Adbrands Weekly Update 10th May 2018: Nestlé pulled off a significant and entirely unexpected coup, signing a global alliance with Starbucks that gives it exclusive global rights - in perpetuity no less! - to all the coffee chain's packaged retail products for $7.15bn, around 3.5 times annual sales. The deal excludes ready to drink beverages like Frappucino (managed by PepsiCo), and of course anytrhing sold through Starbucks existing retail estate. However, Nestlé takes control of all other retail packaged beans, ground coffee and tea, and also assumes rights to Starbucks-branded single-serve capsules for use in the Dolce Gusto and Nespresso systems. (They will still be available in K-Cup form for rival Keurig). The advantage to Starbucks is access to a massive global supermarket distribution operation that is far beyond anything the chain could achieve on its own. Currently, Starbucks sells its packaged coffee in grocery channels in just 28 countries, rather than the 190 or more in which Nestlé is active. For Nestlé this represents a huge boost in the US, one of the only global coffee markets where it is little more than an also-ran, lifting its market share from around 3% of US packaged coffee to 18%. At the same time, both companies strengthen their position against the real enemy: JAB Holdings, owner of a range of competitive businesses including coffee roaster Jacobs Douwe Egberts, coffee retail chains including Peet's and Krispy Kreme, and the single-serve operator Keurig Green Mountain. "This transaction is a significant step for our coffee business, Nestlé’s largest high-growth category," said Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider. "With Starbucks, Nescafé and Nespresso we bring together three iconic brands in the world of coffee. We are delighted to have Starbucks as our partner. Both companies have true passion for outstanding coffee and are proud to be recognized as global leaders for their responsible and sustainable coffee sourcing. This is a great day for coffee lovers around the world." Starbucks currently manages its packaged retail business inhouse, having bought it back (at great legal expense) from Kraft in 2010. Around 500 staff will transfer to Nestlé.
Adbrands Weekly Update 26th Apr 2018: Nestle has launched a review of creative and digital assignments across its large North American portfolio. According to Adweek, it is aiming to consolidate duties with between four and six agencies, rather than the ten or more currently on the roster. This could also pose a threat to WPP. The bulk of creative is split between Interpublic's McCann and FCB, and WPP's JWT and Ogilvy, though a number of other agencies also work on individual brands. WPP also has sole charge of media and production, and these duties are not thought to be affected by the latest review.
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