Nestlé has inaugurated the Chocolate Centre of Excellence in Broc, Switzerland, in the presence of Doris Leuthard, Swiss minister of economic affairs, Beat Vonlanthen, minister of Canton Fribourg, Stéphane Sudan, mayor of Broc, as well as Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke, Petraea Heynike, Nestlé executive vice president responsible for the strategic business units, marketing, sales and Nespresso, and Werner Bauer, Nestlé executive vice president and chief technology officer.
The Centre combines a team of Nestlé specialists, from fine cocoa bean scientists, sensory experts and chocolatiers to packaging designers and consumer specialists, with the artistic inspiration of a panel of independent chocolatiers such as Pierre Marcolini, Tristan Carbonatto and Roger von Rotz.
This spirit of open innovation is further illustrated by the Centre’s partnership with prestigious external design institutions such as the California Art Center and the ECAL University of Art and Design in Lausanne.
The investment of SFr25m underlines the strategic importance Nestlé attributes to its chocolate business, especially in the premium and luxury segment. In 2008, the chocolate business reached sales of SFr9.8bn, with an organic growth of 7.6%.
While global brands such as Kit Kat reached sales of more than SFr1bn, 70% of Nestlé’s chocolate business comes from local brands. In the premium and luxury segment, which grows above the category average, Nestlé is leader in dark chocolate and is well known for premium brands such as Nestlé Noir, Perugina, Cailler and Nespresso luxury chocolate.
The Chocolate Centre of Excellence is part of Nestlé’s research and development network, which comprises 28 centres and employs around 5,000 people worldwide. Several of these centres contribute to the research in the field of chocolate and cocoa.
Over the last 30 years, Nestlé’s research has led to a technology enabling the mass production of high-yielding, disease-resistant cocoa plants to rejuvenate existing plantations. The propagation of superior plants is currently under way in Ecuador, Venezuela, Indonesia and Côte d’Ivoire, where millions of plants will continue to be distributed in the coming years. In Ecuador and Venezuela, where the finest cocoa is sourced, Nestlé helps to protect and promote unique fine cocoa varieties.
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Source: Nestlé SA
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