The CEOs of Danone and Nestlé have called for big brands to win the trust of consumers by being more transparent and tackling issues such as obesity, inequality and climate change.
Both Emmanuel Faber of Danone and Nestlé’s Mark Schneider have warned this week that consumers around the world may turn their backs on multinationals as millennials focus on local upstarts.
Yesterday Danone announced its ‘One Planet. One Health’ campaign in a bid to reconnect people with the food they eat, as well as maintain consumer confidence in the corporate brand.
The company claimed it is a call for consumers to join what it calls the alimentation revolution: a movement aimed adopting healthier and more sustainable eating and drinking habits.
Danone said in a statement that large multinationals have an important role in this revolution through the transformation of their business models.
Faber expanded: “We see our commitment to a radical transformation of our activities to be more local, environmentally-friendly, inclusive and transparent as a fundamental requirement to achieve our objective of profitable, strong and sustainable growth.
“Recognising our responsibility as a global food company, and knowing that we are not perfect and that there is still a lot of work to be done, we call on partners across the agriculture and food ecosystems to join us in our efforts for a healthy future.”
Last year Danone acquired WhiteWave Foods for $12.5 billion, a partnership focused on building sustainable growth.
Meanwhile, Mark Schneider, who took charge of Nestlé in January, believes global brands now have to go the extra mile to win the confidence of customers.
“Consumers are getting more and more interested in how a product is actually made,” he said. “That requires a whole lot of transparency.”
Speaking at the Consumer Goods Forum in Berlin, Schneider said how smaller companies are now able to communicate with their customers via social media, reducing barriers to entry.
In a shift towards emerging sectors, Nestlé this week bought a minority stake in prepared meal provider Freshly and announced a new accelerator programme to support around 20 start-ups in the food and agriculture sectors.
The company said the initiative would enable it to explore new business models following a ‘seismic shift’ in the food industry.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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