VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — All components within Nestle SA’s North American operations — Nestle USA, Purina North America, Nestle Canada, Nestle Health Science and Nespresso — are performing well, leaving executives confident about the future of the business in the region.
Growth in the region can be traced back to a depth of transformation that goes beyond just shifts in the company’s portfolio, said Laurent Freixe, chief executive officer of Zone Americas.
“We changed our head office,” Mr. Freixe said. “We changed distribution model for frozen food. We improved our culture to have it more open connected and agile. So transformation has really taken place across the board.”
Mr. Freixe said Nestle’s priorities moving forward are on supporting, enabling and fueling the growth in the region that already has taken place. This strategy implies investments, he said.
“There is no growth without investments — investment in innovation, investment in manufacturing,” he said. “One of our limitations short term is the tightness of our capacity in some areas. So we have big CapEx investment plans underway.
“But also investment in technology, the shift to e-commerce, which we want to embrace fully, just a data point that our No. 2, No. 3 customers for PetCare are pure players e-commerce, so that shows the importance of the e-commerce channel. And we want to be able to embrace all of that being connected end-to-end from farm to fork. So that implies putting in place supply chain control towers, planning control towers, transportation control towers and so on and so forth, so that we are capable to manage in real time.”