Swiss food group Nestlé saw its turnover go up in 2019, with pet foot brand Purina as strongest link in the chain. Bottled water, however, is a completely different story.
Pet food and coffee
Nestlé achieved a 1.2 % turnover growth to 92.57 billion Swiss francs (87 billion euros). Growth would have been 3.5 % excluding exchange rate fluctuations. Underlying profit went up 9.8%.
The pet food branch was the fastest grower, with 7 % autonomous growth to tot 13.62 billion francs (12.8 billion euros). Starbucks-coffee, an addition to the product range from just two years ago, was another highlight in the results list.
Water under pressure
The waters branch, including brands like Perrier and Vittel, is having an increasingly difficult time. The 0.2 % turnover growth hides the actual evolution: excluding acquisitions, desinvestments, increasing prices and exchange rate fluctuations, there would be a 1.9 % drop.
It is not a surprise that bottled water is feeling the pressure: the environmental impact is huge (in terms of transport and packaging) and companies like Sodastream use tap water to push bottled water producers out of the market. Nestlé's competitor Danone (owning the Evian brand) also saw its bottled water sales drop in 2019.