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Home coffee drinking and pet care boom buoys Nestle sales

Henry Saker-Clark
·2-min read

The pandemic pet ownership boom and customers drinking more coffee at home helped drive Nestle to a jump in sales over the past year.

The world’s largest food company revealed that sales pushed 3.6% higher in 2020 as it was particularly boosted by a robust performance from its Purina pet care arm.

It told investors that it saw strong growth from its Purina Pro Plan and Felix brands during the pandemic.

Nestle said it was also strengthened by a double-digit jump in supplement sales from its Health Science division.

Nestle purina
Pet care products jumped in 2020 as pet ownership grew during the pandemic (Nestle/PA)

Coffee was also in strong demand from lockdown shoppers, with positive sales of Nespresso, Nescafe and its Starbucks branded products.

Growth in these categories helped to offset slumps for products which are typically bought by shoppers “on the go”.

Sales of chocolate and other confectionery slipped lower as shoppers made fewer impulse buys while gifting was also impacted by restrictions.

It revealed that bottled water sales also took a knock as people stayed at home significantly more.

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Mark Schneider, Nestle chief executive, said: “The global pandemic did not slow us down.

“Our nutrition expertise, digital capabilities, decentralised structure and innovation engine allowed us to adapt quickly to changing consumer behaviours and trends.

“Looking to 2021, we expect continued improvement in organic growth, profitability and capital efficiency in line with our value creation model.”

Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “As the world was ushered into lockdowns, demand for things like bottled water and confectionery went into hibernation too.

“However, KitKat maker Nestle has been able to keep sales moving upwards thanks to strong demand for its pet care, health and coffee products.

“This is unsurprising, given the pandemic has sparked a huge increase in pet ownership, as well as increased health awareness.”

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