QDescribe your business objectives.
A We aim to inspire and help caterers to build and grow profitability across their business by working in partnership and providing the right solutions on an individual basis. One size does not fit all.
QWhat are the current issues facing your food service customers?
A The dominating issue is, of course, the impact of the credit crunch.
Despite the economic climate, our industry is expected to reach £36.6b by 2012. Each and every one of us is aware of the effects of the current economic crisis in our daily lives, and the indicators are that the long-term reverberations are yet to be seen.
What is critical is that the industry really pulls together to ensure that the right products - at the right price - are delivered to the end consumer to present solutions that support their needs.
We should recognise that those needs may be about to change, most likely in line with financial restraint.
A further issue is that of CSR. Corporate social responsibility remains core to our customers. Regardless of economic influence, CSR is now an integral part of doing business and is woven into the supply chain relationship - whether through sustainability, diversity or third-party support.
It's an issue that the industry has embraced, and we now see the need for CSR to mature across working partnerships in the supply chain right through to the end consumer.
QHow do you help them address these issues?
A Let's take the economic climate first.
Yes, it's tough out there, and every business is working harder to stand still while accommodating rising inflation on food and energy prices. From our side, we can help not only through providing hot beverage and food solutions that work for our customers, but through supporting those solutions with point of sale material, price promotion and, most importantly, offering support and guidance across different niche sectors.
What matters is that customers talk to customers to share best practice and learn from each others' successes.
When it comes to CSR, it's right at the heart of our business and has been for many years. Let me share a few examples.
In 2007 Nestlé globally reduced its direct greenhouse gas emissions by 16% compared to 10 years ago, and overall water withdrawal by 28%. And over the past 18 months, Nestl‚ UK and Ireland has developed a sustainability strategy that sets out short- and long-term priorities in areas such as reducing emissions and minimising waste.
With 80% of the Nestlé Professional business based in beverages, sustainable coffee sourcing is a big priority. We work on several platforms to guarantee the sustainability of the coffee we buy.
For example, we operate the world's largest direct-purchasing scheme, which allows farmers to deliver coffee directly to our buying stations and so keep more of their income; we're committed to the Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C) global code of conduct, which brings sustainability into the mainstream supply chain; and we launched our Fairtrade brand, Nescafé Partners Blend, in 2005.
QWhat are the questions your customers ask most often?AOur customers often ask how we can help them win and grow business in a very competitive marketplace and against the backdrop of a challenging economy.
QWhat do you believe will be the next big trend in your market?
A If you'd asked me three months ago, I would have said that the food service market remains focused on innovations around healthier beverage and food products. And this will still be the case, as demand will be driven by the consumer.
However, I think that every business will be primarily focused on ensuring that it is robust and remains profitable across rapidly fluctuating cost points. This is a priority for many establishments.
QIn the long term, where's the business going?
A We are looking to increase our presence and share in the UK's dynamic and growing food service market through working in partnership with our customers - however large or small a business they may be - and meeting their needs.
Company name Nestlé Professional
Address St George's House, Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR9 1NR
Tel 020 8686 3333
Size 15 dedicated food service factories and 10,000 employees in 97 countries (including 100 chefs)
Area of operation Nestlé operates in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Oceania and Africa
Products A complete package for the food service industry including branded beverages, food products, flavour solutions and systems and an extensive recipe collection, as well as merchandising/point of sale support.
Market sectors Restaurants, business and industry, hotels, pubs, clubs, bars, cafés, cost sector catering and hospitality.
A range of coffees including Nescafé Gold Blend, Nescafé Original, Nescafé DeCaf and Nescafé Specialities along with roast and ground coffee from Nescafé Dispense Roma, Aero Bubbly Hot Chocolate, a range of Maggi and Chef culinary aids, snacking ranges such as Herta Hot Dogs, and confectionery, including KitKat Senses.
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