Responding to changing customer requirements: the drive towards Wellness
A Nestlé case study

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Page 1: Introduction

Consumer research shows that people are looking to adopt healthier lifestyles. Newspapers and television channels bombard us with health information and messages about the benefits of healthier living. Governments, keen to ensure that people are looking after their health in order to ease the burden on public health services, are also reinforcing these messages. As a result, many people are taking positive steps to lead healthier lives. They are starting to take appropriate exercise; to find ways of relaxing and to eat a balanced, nutritious diet. When millions of people decide to change their lifestyle and their buying habits market-led companies are certain to notice and to respond. This is because their ability to stay in business depends on providing goods and services that meet customers' needs and to respond to changing requirements.

Nestlé is the world's biggest food and beverage company and produces a wide range of products. Many of its best known brands are household names, although you may perhaps not realise, that some of them are part of the Nestlé portfolio.

The Nestlé organisation operates through product divisions. These include:

You will be familiar with many of the brands, which include:

  • Nescafé (coffee)
  • Smarties, KitKat (confectionery)
  • Perrier, Buxton (water)
  • Buitoni (pasta)
  • Sveltesse (chilled dairy)
  • Shredded Wheat (cereals).

Henri Nestlé developed the first infant food in 1867 to save the life of a friend's baby who could not be breastfed. Since then, the company has looked to build on a tradition of providing nutritious products. It builds its business around:

  • discovering what customers want
  • identifying pressures for change e.g. government campaigns, health education initiatives
  • responding to changes in the market place.

Today, in Lausanne (Switzerland), Nestlé operates the world's largest nutrition based science research unit. Over 600 scientists and food technicians work there developing and improving products.

This Case Study focuses on how Nestlé, one of the world's leaders in consumer-led approaches to product development, continually seeks to provide products that meet consumers' changing requirements. In particular, it also looks at how Nestlé use its vast scientific and consumer knowledge to make products that make it easier for consumers to be healthier.

Nestlé | Responding to changing customer requirements: the drive towards Wellness