Nestle came by last Thursday and Friday to meet with students of the Brand Center and teach us a little about Nestle and specifically Nestle’s professional unit. Nestle Professional is a division that is responsible for primarily B2B (business to business) marketing and creative food and beverage solutions. The group we had come by was primarily from the Tampa office where they handle Coffee Mate. Three alumni from the Brand Center who are now working at Nestle were in attendance as well.
The presentation was great and brought a whole new light to the food service business. One of the most interesting factoids from the event is that there is nearly a 50/50 split of food dollars spent inside and outside the home. Scott Stuckman, VP Beverage Marketing and Operations, mentioned in his presentation, getting those dollars outside the home spent on Nestle products is all about offering restaurant and other food service owners an enticing value proposition. For Coffee Mate specifically, Nestle has found that though it is a premium product it will actually drive traffic to food service companies and increase sales of high margin coffee. So, even though food service owners pay a higher upfront cost for the brand they reap large rewards in terms of sales and profits.
Before the presentation I didn’t put much thought into food service and BtoB marketing, but now I understand how valuable an asset this is to CPG firms. As a BtoB marketer you can make huge impact for a company like Nestle who looks for strong long-term growth from this segment of the business. Overall, the folks from Nestle were terrific and I am not the only one currently in the Brand Center who is very proud to see that our alumni are doing so well. We have large shoes to fill!