How Nestlé Professional can help wholesalers go for gold

Nestlé Professional’s Steve Norris tells Tan Parsons the recipe for success in wholesale.

Iconic brands on the Nestlé Professional portfolio
  • Nescafé Original
  • Nescafé Gold Blend
  • Nescafé Azera
  • Maggi
  • Chef
  • Kit Kat
TP: How has Nestlé Professional helped wholesalers to grow sales in last 12 months?

SN: As a channel, wholesale is incredibly important to our business, and we place huge value on the partners we work with. We look to build inspiring growth partnerships with wholesalers, and we work closely with them to agree joint business plans to drive sales.  For instance, we’ve been driving our business with wholesalers into the casual dining, travel and leisure sectors.  As well as providing food and beverage solutions, product innovation is crucial here too.

What kind of dilemma could a restaurant need a solution for?

It could be the skill factor in the kitchen.  Staff cutbacks across the industry has put a lot of pressure on chefs.  As a result, they are often looking for simple solutions that enable them to create tasty, healthy dishes that aren’t time consuming to prepare, or costly to deliver. We’ll have already done the background development work with the chef, so it’s then about partnering with them to create a menu that works for their business. The key for us is getting closer to the customer – the wholesaler and the wholesaler’s customer.

How do you get closer to your customers?

As a business, we have one of the biggest sales teams in the Industry. Our customer development team places great importance on supporting our wholesale customers and fostering relationships to help drive growth in the sector. Product innovation and improvement plays a big role in that, helping both wholesalers and those who rely on their services to keep menus fresh and current, to in turn inspire their customers.

How much room is there to grow Nestle Professional’s range in wholesale?

As a company, we are constantly striving to innovate and improve our products and services, in order to inspire our wholesale partners and drive business growth. Fundamentally, it’s about working with wholesalers and introducing new, innovative products.  A good example is Nescafé Original Gold Blend and Nescafé Azera. You’ve just got to get the NPD right.

How does NPD differ in foodservice compared to the retail side of Nestle’s business?

It is crucial that we deliver products that are specific to foodservice and meet our customers’ needs.  For example, we’ve just launched individually wrapped polos in a 1kilo bag, which has been developed for hotels, conference centres and meeting rooms. It’s a perfect solution, and yet it’s a very simple one.

Are there any particular customer areas where you think you can grow?

There is room for growth across the board, but casual dining is one area that is growing particularly rapidly.  As a result, we are moving towards more commercial leisure – hotels, restaurants and casual dining sites. In education channel, the introduction of free school meals has been a big factor in the growth of our Maggi brand too.

What advice would you give wholesalers?

Wholesalers often know their customers and their channels better than some manufacturers. But often where they have a shortage is in terms of data insight and customer trends. This is something we are fortunate to have in abundance, and can work with wholesale partners to share, and deliver on, these trends.

What are your upcoming campaigns in 2016?

While our focus will continue to be on developing our core brands, we will also be launching a number of new exciting concepts including an innovative range of sweet deserts and the New Generation Nescafé Milano 2.0 machine.  2016 also marks the 40th anniversary of our Chef brand, so we are planning a number of celebratory activities to mark this significant milestone.


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