Nestle (OTC: NSRGY) previously announced it will spend $2 billion to cut plastic waste and this could be seen as an investment in keeping up with consumer changes, Nestle CEO Ulf Mark Schneider said in a CNBC interview aired Tuesday.
Nestle already made it clear a $2 billion green initiative will be balanced with $2 billion in synergies elsewhere in the business. But it is also important to address consumer demands that their food products are both healthier and aren't causing environmental damage.
"People trust good brands but they want to be sure their products meet their expectations," he said.
So far the company has introduced some recyclable packaging in markets like Japan but a global launch is a five-year effort.
Plant-based food represents a multi-year long growth opportunity, and Nestle wants to be front-and-center as a core food company, Schneider said. Nestle offers a yellow-pea-based product for the American market and a soy-based product for Asian markets. This makes Nestle the only company offering two unique products to different markets to better meet local tastes.
However, the CEO says he won't comment on specific clients but the company is "generally interested" in working with fast-food chains.
Growth In Pet Food
Pet food is one of Nestle's signature high-growth categories and is well positioned to take advantage of two notable trends, the CEO said. The first involves the "premiumization" of pet food products in the Western world and "caloric conversion" in growing markets where pet food is replacing household scraps.
"Both of these trends are on fire," he said.