Move Over, George Clooney. Nespresso Now Has Humberto the Farmer

(Bloomberg) -- George Clooney, make way for Humberto, Esteban and Luis. The three Colombian farmers are the latest pitchmen for Nespresso, in an ad campaign extolling the benefits of sustainably sourced coffee.

The Nestle SA division’s new spots highlight the true stories of growers Nespresso works with, the Lausanne-based company said in a statement Tuesday. They appear in ads narrated by the actor, who has long promoted the brand with the tagline, “Nespresso, What Else?”

Move Over, George Clooney. Nespresso Now Has Humberto the Farmer

It’s the latest effort by a global food giant to appeal to consumers’ growing appetite for ethically sourced and organic products. Rival Unilever touts initiatives such as its development of environmentally friendlier detergent and its installation of thousands of water pumps in African villages.

The Nespresso campaign builds on a sustainability program the coffee maker introduced more than a decade ago, in which the company works with farmers to develop agricultural practices that increase quality, productivity and the viability of their farms.

Nestle Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider has said he’s pursuing growth in coffee alongside pet food, baby nutrition and water. Nespresso, which has been facing tougher competition from cheaper portion pods used in its coffee-making system, has begun selling its capsules outside its own retail outlets for the first time in Germany this year.

The latest ad campaign harks back to the 1980s, when Colombia’s coffee growers’ federation featured fictional farmer Juan Valdez in television spots. Nespresso showcases Humberto, Esteban and Luis -- one of whom says he’s saved time and resources by processing his coffee centrally at the community mill. That has allowed him to send his daughter to university.

“We wanted to bring them to coffee drinkers to help them understand what is behind the coffee they enjoy every day,” Alfonso Gonzalez, Nespresso’s chief marketing officer, said in the statement.