We are here to stay – Nestlé


The world’s largest food and beverages company, Nestlé, says it intends to expand capacity at its Zimbabwe unit and revive the Maggi brand as it is in the country for the long haul.

Last week, the Swiss-headquartered food giant commissioned the US$2.5m cereal manufacturing line in Zimbabwe.

The endorsement of the destination comes at a time the President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has been courting foreign investors under Zimbabwe is open for business thrust.

It also comes after the global food and beverage concern has sunk in US$40m into Zimbabwe in the past 10 years to expand the local unit’s capacity as it moves to meet the demands of the domestic market and the export market.

Bruno Olierhoek, Nestlé market head East and Southern Africa, told Business Times the next phase of expansion would see the installation of the fourth roller dryer for cereals manufacturing which will result in a 25% incremental volume throughput.

He said capital expenditure for the expansion was exclusively dollar and is hopeful the global food and beverages concern would support the expansion thrust.

“We will have to manage carefully but if we can get the right amount of capex we are already starting to think when we import the next roller dryer and other investments.

Besides for the dairy and the cereals, we are also looking at reviving the culinary range under the Maggi brand.

We have plans for the years to come, extending the current brands and going into new categories as well.

Our hopes for Zimbabwe are high and we really believe in the future of Zimbabwe,” Olierhoek said.

Nestlé has been in Zimbabwe since 1959.

Nestle Zimbabwe, Olierhoek said, has adopted a new business model which focuses on import substitution to reduce reliance on imports due to the foreign currency constraints that confront the economy.

The firm used to import 85% of its requirements with the remainder coming from the domestic market.

Under the new business model, below 20% of its requirements is imported.

The company is also working on boosting exports into South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi.

Last week, Nestlé Zimbabwe commissioned a US$2.5m cereal manufacturing line which will result in over 30% incremental volume through put in cereals to meet local demand and for exports.

The commissioning also saw the launch of two new products, Nestlé Cerevita instant sour porridge and Nestlé Cremora with milk.

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