Despite Disappointing Frozen Sales Nestlé CEO is Bullish Going Forward

190221 nestle rotating

By John Saulnier, FFB Editorial Director

Comprehensive sales results were sweet for Nestlé S.A. in 2018, but no thanks to the frozen food sector. The Vevey, Switzerland-headquartered transnational food and drink conglomerate recently reported that organic growth of 3% on global turnover of CHF 91.4 billion was realized, as operating profit topped 15.5 billion Swiss francs.

190221 nestle graphic01CEO Ulf Mark Schneider “When it comes to frozen meals, we did not have a good year, and we just own up to that,” candidly commented CEO Ulf Mark Schneider during an earnings call after the figures were released. “We’re working intensely to address that situation, and I’m very bullish when it comes to expectations here going forward.”

While frozen pizza was relatively flat in Zone Americas, the category generally fared well overall. It was another story altogether for prepared foods and snack products such as Lean Cuisine and Hot Pockets. Addressing the overall flat performance for frozen meals, Schneider remarked:

“It was very clear that what we’ve done in prior years was too much of a one-shot type of improvement on the old innovation model, and what we really have to apply now is this continuous improvement – basically hit the market all the time with new and improved products and stay ahead.”

So, despite calls by some shareholders for Nestlé to get out of the frozen food and ice cream business, or at least divest a significant chunk of it, the captain of the ship aims to continue steering a forward course for the time being. His cool assessment of frozen’s future seems to be positively optimistic.

This does not appear to be the case in the refrigerated convenience meat sector, however, as the company is looking at options for its Herta cold cuts business.

“Herta no longer fits our strategy. We want to focus more on plant-based offerings,” said Schneider.

Following the purchase of the Sweet Earth in the United States in 2017, last year the company acquired Ecuador-based Terrafertil, which produces organic and plant-based foods. Meanwhile, it aims to be a major player in the meat-free in Europe with the introduction of the Incredible Burger under its Garden Gourmet label.

Summing up the annual results, Schneider stated: "We are pleased with our progress in 2018. All financial performance metrics improved significantly and we saw revived growth in our two largest markets, the United States and China. Nestlé keeps investing in future growth and at the same time has increased the amount of cash returned to shareholders through our dividend and share buyback program.”

190221 nestle logoLooking ahead, the company expects organic sales growth will exceed 3% in 2019, and anticipates that its underlying trading operating profit margin will top last year’s 17% gain.

Lineage Logistics Taps McClendon to Head Europe Operation Lineage Logistics Taps McClendon to Head Europe Operation
Lineage Logistics has appointed Mike McClendon to serve as president of Lineage Europe in support of the Novi, Michigan, USA-headquartered company’s expanding global presence. He will oversee

Pulled Oumph! Pulls in Three World Food Innovation Awards Pulled Oumph! Pulls in Three World Food Innovation Awards
The Food for Progress team’s frozen Pulled Oumph! meat-free alternative to pulled pork scored a hat trick in World Food Innovation Awards competition with victories in three categories: Best

Bassini 1963 Buys Glaxi Pane to Extend Baked Goods Reach Bassini 1963 Buys Glaxi Pane to Extend Baked Goods Reach
Forli, Italy-headquartered frozen bread producer Bassini 1963 has acquired Glaxi Pane, a fellow Italian frozen baked goods manufacturer. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, was completed

Bindi Introduces New Line of Panna Cotta Italian Desserts Bindi Introduces New Line of Panna Cotta Italian Desserts
Belleville, New Jersey-based Bindi Dessert USA has unveiled a new collection of Panna Cotta to the American foodservice market. Three gluten-free varieties of the Italian sweet treat are

AquaBounty Technologies Sets Common Stock Offering Price AquaBounty Technologies Sets Common Stock Offering Price
AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: AQB), a biotechnology company focused on enhancing productivity in the aquaculture industry and a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (Nasdaq:

Cooke Inc. Acquires Three Seafood Companies in Two Months Cooke Inc. Acquires Three Seafood Companies in Two Months
Cooke Inc., the Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada-headquartered parent company of Cooke Aquaculture, has purchased Farallon Aquaculture de Nicaragua S.A., a vertically integrated producer of farmed

Lobster Macaroni & Cheese Bites Win Judges Over in Boston Lobster Macaroni & Cheese Bites Win Judges Over in Boston
It was not only a great day for the Irish on March 17, but there was good reason for others to proudly raise a glass as well. The “Best New Foodservice” Seafood Excellence award winner for 2019 is

Ocean Beauty to Debut Products, Distribution Deal at SENA Ocean Beauty to Debut Products, Distribution Deal at SENA
Seattle, Washington-based Ocean Beauty Seafoods will unveil three initiatives at the upcoming March 17-19 Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in Boston, Massachusetts. They include a new Ocean Beauty

Stavis Seafoods Launches SeaTru Lifestyle Seafood Brand Stavis Seafoods Launches SeaTru Lifestyle Seafood Brand
Boston, Massachusetts-headquartered Stavis Seafoods aims to make buying sustainably sourced seafood easier in the USA with the launch of SeaTru, a lifestyle brand that is presented to consumers as

Pier 33 Gourmet Organic Chilean Mussels Debuting in USA Pier 33 Gourmet Organic Chilean Mussels Debuting in USA
Camanchaca Inc., the Miami, Florida-based division of Santiago, Chile-headquartered frozen seafood specialist Camanchaca S.A., will unveil Organic Mussels under its Pier 33 Gourmet label at Booth

Frozen Products in Running for Seafood Excellence Awards Frozen Products in Running for Seafood Excellence Awards
With the March 17-19 Seafood Expo North America set to kick off in Boston, Massachusetts on Sunday, a high point on Day 1 of the annual extravaganza will be the Seafood Excellence Awards

As Brexit Deadline Nears, Tariff Concerns Irk Food Sector As Brexit Deadline Nears, Tariff Concerns Irk Food Sector
With Parliament poised on the evening of March 13 to vote on whether or not Britain will leave the European Union sans a deal with Brussels, following yet another rejection of Prime Minister

Irish Investors Group Nets Donegal Catch from 2 Sisters Irish Investors Group Nets Donegal Catch from 2 Sisters
Birmingham, England-headquartered Boparan Holdings Limited, the parent company of 2 Sisters Food Group, on March 11 announced the sale of its Donegal Catch frozen foods business and Green Isle

Thai Union Inks Seafood Supply Deal with Win-Chain in PRC Thai Union Inks Seafood Supply Deal with Win-Chain in PRC
Thai Union Group executives signed an agreement with Alibaba Group’s Shanghai Win-Chain Supply Chain Management Co. on March 12 to become strategic partners in supplying the Bangkok-headquartered

Trident Triumphs Yet Again with Versatile Protein Noodles Trident Triumphs Yet Again with Versatile Protein Noodles
The winning steak continues for Trident Seafoods Protein Noodles, as the wild Alaska pollock-based product has earned 2019 Food and Beverage (FABI) award recognition from the National Restaurant

Win Chill Cold Storage Expands; Table Top Breaks Ground Win Chill Cold Storage Expands; Table Top Breaks Ground
Win Chill Cold Storage recently celebrated completion of the second phase of its refrigerated warehouse distribution center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The

McCain Foods Invests to Boost Output at Australian Plant McCain Foods Invests to Boost Output at Australian Plant
McCain Foods aims to spend AU $37 million (approximately US $26 million) to increase capacity at its frozen potato products factory in Smithton, Tasmania, Australia. Work on the upgrade will begin

IARW Tabulates Global Expansion of Cold Storage Capacity IARW Tabulates Global Expansion of Cold Storage Capacity
The International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW), a core partner of the Arlington, Virginia, USA-headquartered Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), has released the association’s

Bristol Seafoods Rolls Out My Fish Fix Frozen Ready Meals Bristol Seafoods Rolls Out My Fish Fix Frozen Ready Meals
Portland, Maine, USA-based Bristol Seafood is launching My Fish Fix, a retail line of quality, simple-to-cook from frozen seafood that will officially debut at Booth 305 during the Seafood Expo

Cloverleaf Cold Storage Seals Zero Mountain Merger Deal Cloverleaf Cold Storage Seals Zero Mountain Merger Deal
Sioux City, Iowa-headquartered Cloverleaf Cold Storage, a refrigerated warehousing company serving customers across the United States Midwest and Southeast, has merged with Fort Smith,

Brioche Pasquier Unveils ‘Cut Above’ New Look Entremets Brioche Pasquier Unveils ‘Cut Above’ New Look Entremets
Les Cerqueux, France-headquartered pâtisserie specialist Brioche Pasquier has given two of its frozen Entremets a new look. The topping design has been especially created to make for “cut above”

MorningStar Farms Entire Range to be 100% Vegan by 2021 MorningStar Farms Entire Range to be 100% Vegan by 2021
Dallas, Texas-based MorningStar Farms has announced that its total line of frozen food products – from newly launched Cheezeburger to Spicy Black Bean Burger, Grillers Original, Breakfast

Vion’s Cool Cuts Offer Frozen Advantages to Meat Market Vion’s Cool Cuts Offer Frozen Advantages to Meat Market
Utilizing matured beef that meets its strict Goldbeef brand standard, Vion has introduced a frozen range of T-bone steak, entrecote, filet and special cuts under the Cool Cuts line label. Aimed at

Aviko Has British Potato Skins in the Foodservice Game Aviko Has British Potato Skins in the Foodservice Game
The Aviko UK arm of Steenderen, Holland-headquartered value-added potato specialist Aviko BV has launched ¼ and ½ potato skins in British and Irish foodservice markets. Made from United

Acquisitions Key in Driving Nomad Foods’ Q4 Sales Surge Acquisitions Key in Driving Nomad Foods’ Q4 Sales Surge
Positive financial results for the fourth quarter and 12-month period ending on December 31, 2018, have given Nomad Foods executives and stockholders reason to smile. Shares, which trade on the New