Nestlé is looking to capitalise on growing consumer trends around nutrition after revealing its aims to become a world leader in the sector, following the acquisition of all rights to popular dermal fillers Restylane, Perlane, Emervel, Sculptra, and Dysport earlier this year.
Speaking on a conference call to investors this morning, Wan Ling Martello, chief financial officer, said: “Our objective at Nestlé is to continue our transformation into the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company."
“It is clear in today’s heavily competitive environment that seems to have unending volatility and headwind, products that deliver on nutrition, health and wellness are one of the fastest growing in our industry. They offer consumers more added value so increasing our precedence in this space and increasing health and wellness products into our portfolio has led and will continue to lead the sustainability of higher levels of growth and profitability.”
This comes despite the company operating a "tough and volatile trading environment”.
Reporting its financial results Nestlé said both weak consumer sentiment and foreign exchange in emerging markets took a bite out of its sales and profits, which fell 4.8 per cent and 10 per cent respectively in the first half.
Profits slid to 4.63bn Swiss francs (£3.02bn) in the period, short of analysts' average estimate, while Nestlé, maker of KitKat bars and Nescafe coffee, said it achieved 4.7 per cent organic growth in the first six months of 2014.
In Europe organic growth was up by 0.6 per cent, slowed by tough market conditions, price comparisons and weak consumer confidence, particularly in the UK.
Nestle attributed the growth to “innovation and premiumisation” in its product categories, such as Nescafe Dolce Gusto and Wagner and Buitoni frozen pizzas and Martello said that it would continue to ensure its portfolio is "fit to win" to offer value to customers.
The Swiss company also announced an 8bn Swiss franc share buy-back programme that will start this year and continue into 2015, to help reduce its share capital.
Speaking to The Drum earlier this year Nestle’s chief digital officer Pete Blackshaw revealed that the company is exploring opportunities around wearable technology and the internet of things at its Silicon Valley outpost