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). Yet, by contrast, it is also now the only major market where it does still market ice cream. And this is certainly a major market for the Swiss food giant. The US accounts 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 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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Jan 2018: As expected, Ferrero secured the deal to acquire Nestle'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 Nestle Crunch. (The US is the only market in the world where Nestle 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 Nestle'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 11th Jan 2018: The final bids for Nestle's US confectionery business were submitted this week. It looks set to be a contest between US giant Hershey, Italian interloper Ferrero (makers of Kinder, Nutella and Tic Tac) and the private equity fund Rhone Capital. Price tag is estimated at around $2.5bn. Most observers believe family-owned Ferrero has the edge, since it is likely to be more willing to pay top dollar to strengthen what is currently only a modest presence in US confectionery.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Sep 2017: Having missed out on a string of major acquisitions initiated by new rival Jacobs Douwe Egberts and its controlling shareholders, Nestle finally took steps to protect its key global coffee franchise with a deal for fast-growing US firm Blue Bottle Coffee. The target company retails a wide variety of premium speciality coffee blends direct to consumers via ecommerce subscription or through a small but expanding chain of retail outets. Blue Bottle is hoping to have 55 stores in the US and Japan by the end of this year. Despite its small size, Nestle is understood to have acquired a 68% shareholding in the business for around $500m. Current management led by CEO Bryan Meehan and founder & chief product officer James Freeman will continue to run the company and control the remaining shares. It will operate as a standalone entity, partnering Nestle's existing Nescafe and Nespresso brands.
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