Next From Nestle India: A Sweet Offering 

Nestle India Ltd. will soon unveil another product for Indians with a sweet tooth as the global food giant continues to strengthen its portfolio.

“Some new stuff will be coming down your way,” Nikhil Chand, general manager, chocolate and confectionery at Nestle India, said in an interview with BloombergQuint. “I can’t talk about it right now, but we will launch something for India in the chocolate confectionary space.”

It will be only the second product the maker of Kit Kat chocolate will unveil specifically for India, after the 1999 launch of the Munch. The company recently relaunched its white chocolate brand Milkybar, first introduced in 1992, with lower sugar and higher milk content.

Nestle India stepped up its new launches after the 2015 controversy over monosodium glutamate content in Maggi noodles, which contributes a third of its revenues. The company has launched 43 new products since 2016, JP Morgan said in its report. Their contribution to sales increased to 2.8 percent in the first half of 2017 compared to 0.7 percent a year ago, it said.

Chocolate and confectioneries contributed 13 percent to its sales in the first six months of the year, clocking a 10.9 percent growth over the year-ago period, according to its investor presentation.

The relaunch of the white bar is part of the strategy to strengthen its chocolate portfolio and the company can use any one of its brands – Kit Kat, Munch and Milkybar – to come up with value-added offerings, Suresh Naryanan, chairman and managing director of Nestle India, had told analysts at its investor meet on August 24. “That is really the approach that we will take.”

The company is unveiling new products in each category, he said. It recently launched a Maggi Atta Noodles variant as a breakfast meal.

“The level of innovation that you might have noticed in the company has sharply increased. Innovation comes together with investment and a risk,” Narayanan said. “Not everything that we launch is going to be successful, not everything that we launch is going to be a failure.”

(The writer visited Nestle India’s chocolate and confectionery plant in Ponda, Goa at the invitation of the company)

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