Nestlé Business Model Analysis

Nestlé is a powerhouse of consumer brands spanning baby foods, bottled waters, powdered drinks, cereals, coffee, drinks, pet care, and more. The company made over 94 billion Swiss Francs in 2022 (over $100 billion), with high margins on its powdered and liquid beverages (coffee, cocoa, and malt beverages and tea categories).

While many people might not relate directly to Nestlé as a brand, billions of people across the world relate to the brands it owns. You might be surprised by the portfolio of brands that Nestlé has, spanning from baby foods to pet care.



Nestlé origin story

Nestlé history dates back to the late 1860s when the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company was founded.

Henri Nestlé, the founder, worked out an instant formula powdered milk product, which would become the company’s core product.

By 1905 a merger with Anglo-Swiss would form the Nestlé Group ever.

Since the company has managed to pass two World-Wars and several economic crises successfully.

What brands does the company own?

A powerhouse of consumer brands

Although not many might relate directly to the Nestlé brand, in many countries worldwide, most people can relate to the portfolio of brands owned by the company, which spans from baby foods to pet care.

Baby foods brands


Nestlé Brand Website

Nestlé baby foods brands comprise:

  • Cerelac.
  • Gerber.
  • Gerber Graduates.
  • NaturNes.
  • Nestum.

Bottled water brands


Nestlé Brand Website

Nestlé water brands comprise:

  • Nestlé Pure Life.
  • Perrier.
  • Poland Spring.
  • S.Pellegrino.

Cereals brands

Nestlé Brand Website

Nestlé cereal brands comprise:

  • Chocapic. 
  • Cini Minis.
  • Cookie Crisp.
  • Estrelitas.
  • Fitness.
  • Nesquik Cereal.

Chocolate & confectionery brands

Nestlé Brand Website

Nestlé chocolate and confectionery brands comprise:

  • Aero.
  • Cailler.
  • KitKat. 
  • Milkybar.
  • Nestlé Les Recettes de l’Atelier. 
  • Orion.
  • Quality Street.
  • Smarties.
  • Toll House.

Coffee brands

Nestlé Brand Website

Nestlé coffee brands comprise:

  • Nescafé.
  • Nescafé 3 in 1.
  • Nescafé Cappuccino. 
  • Nescafé Classic.
  • Nescafé Decaff.
  • Nescafé Dolce Gusto.
  • Nescafé Gold.
  • Nespresso.

Culinary, chilled and frozen food

Nestlé culinary brands comprise:

  • Buitoni.
  • Herta.
  • Hot Pockets.
  • Lean Cuisine.
  • Maggi.
  • Stouffer’s.
  • Thomy.


Nestlé Brand Website

Diary brands comprise:

  • Carnation.
  • Coffee-Mate.
  • La Laitière. 
  • Nido.


Nestlé Brand Website

Drinks brands comprise:

  • Milo. 
  • Nesquik.
  • Nestea.

Food service

Nestlé Brand Website

Food service brands comprise:

  • Chef.
  • Chef-Mate.
  • Maggi.
  • Milo.
  • Minor’s.
  • Nescafé.
  • Nestea. 
  • Sjora. 
  • Lean Cuisine. 
  • Stouffer’s.

Healthcare nutrition

Nestlé Brand Website

Healthcare brands comprise:

  • Boost. 
  • Nutren Junior. 
  • Peptamen. 
  • Resource.

Ice cream

Nestlé Brand Website

Ice cream brands comprise:

  • Dreyer’s. 
  • Extrême.
  • Häagen-Dazs. 
  • Mövenpick.
  • Nestlé Ice Cream.


Nestlé Brand Website

Petcare brands comprise:

  • Alpo.
  • Bakers Complete.
  • Beneful.
  • Cat Chow.
  • Chef Michael’s Canine Creations.
  • Dog Chow.
  • Fancy Feast. 
  • Felix.
  • Friskies.
  • Gourmet. 
  • Purina. 
  • Purina ONE.
  • Pro Plan.

A business model still, in part, powered by powder

Nestlé is a powerhouse in the consumer space, owning multiple brands. In 2022, most of the company’s revenue came from the powdered and liquid beverages segment, followed by pet care, nutrition & health science, and prepared dishes.

As highlighted in its financial statements:

Powdered and Liquid Beverages covers our coffee, cocoa and malt beverages and tea categories. This business features some of our most iconic brands, such as: Nescafé, the world’s favorite coffee brand; Nespresso, our premium coffee experience; and Milo, the world’s most popular chocolate malt drink

What’s next for Nestlé?

Nestlé business strategy

As the ‘Good Food, Good Life’ company, we enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future. Winning with consumers is the source of our sustainable financial performance and our way to earning trust and maintain our market leadership. Based on a compelling Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy, our company delivers sustainable value over the short term and the long term.

That is how Nestlé highlights its strategy by emphasizing how it moves around three key points:

  • Increasing growth through innovation, differentiation and by being relevant to our consumers. We have committed to reach mid single-digit organic growth by 2020.

  • Improving operational efficiency with the goal to increase our underlying trading operating profit margin to between 17.5% and 18.5% (from 16.0% in 2016), and

  • Allocating our resources and capital with discipline and clear priorities, including through acquisitions and divestitures.

In short, Nestlé focuses on generating demand for its current brands while improving its operational efficiency and allocating massive amounts of capital to buy and sell relevant consumer brands, which helps the company to keep its dominance in the consumer food and beverage industry.

Distribution Strategy:

  • Retail Partnerships: Nestlé products are widely available through partnerships with major retail chains, supermarkets, and convenience stores. These partnerships ensure that consumers can easily access Nestlé brands during their regular shopping trips.
  • Online Sales: Nestlé has embraced e-commerce and online retail platforms to reach consumers directly. Through its official websites and e-commerce partnerships, customers can purchase Nestlé products for home delivery or in-store pickup.
  • Wholesale Distribution: Nestlé also utilizes wholesale distributors to supply its products to smaller retailers, restaurants, and businesses. This approach helps expand its market reach beyond large retail chains.
  • Global Supply Chain: Nestlé maintains a robust global supply chain network to ensure efficient production, distribution, and delivery of its products. This network spans multiple regions and countries to meet local demand.
  • Customized Approaches: Recognizing the unique characteristics of each product category, Nestlé tailors its distribution strategies accordingly. For example, perishable goods like ice cream may require specialized cold-chain logistics, while bottled water can follow a more conventional distribution model.

Marketing Strategy:

  • Brand Portfolio: Nestlé’s extensive brand portfolio allows it to cater to various consumer preferences and market segments. Each brand is strategically positioned to resonate with its target audience.
  • Digital Marketing: Nestlé embraces digital marketing channels to reach consumers where they spend their time online. This includes social media advertising, influencer partnerships, and targeted online campaigns.
  • Content Marketing: Nestlé produces valuable and engaging content related to nutrition, health, and wellness. This content not only educates consumers but also reinforces Nestlé’s commitment to these principles.
  • Sustainability Messaging: Nestlé emphasizes its sustainability initiatives and responsible sourcing practices in its marketing efforts. This resonates with environmentally conscious consumers and aligns with Nestlé’s corporate values.
  • Product Innovation: Nestlé invests in research and development to create innovative products that meet emerging consumer trends. These innovations are often accompanied by marketing campaigns that highlight the unique features and benefits of new offerings.
  • Health and Wellness Focus: Given the increasing consumer focus on health and wellness, Nestlé’s marketing often highlights the nutritional value and health benefits of its products.

Organizational Structure:

  • Product Categories: Nestlé organizes its business into various product categories, such as baby foods, bottled waters, cereals, coffee, confectionery, pet care, and more. Each category has dedicated teams responsible for product development, marketing, and distribution.
  • Regional Presence: Nestlé operates in numerous regions worldwide, each with its own management teams. This regional structure allows Nestlé to adapt to local market conditions and preferences.
  • Functional Leadership: Nestlé has functional leaders overseeing critical areas like research and development, human resources, product supply, ethics and compliance, analytics and insight, branding, legal, sustainability, communications, and finance. These functions support the overall business strategy.
  • Acquisition and Divestiture: Nestlé’s organizational structure accommodates strategic acquisitions and divestitures as it continues to evolve its brand portfolio to align with consumer preferences and market dynamics.

Growth Strategy:

  • Innovation: Nestlé aims to increase growth through innovation, differentiation, and relevance to consumers. This involves continuous product development and adaptation to changing consumer preferences.
  • Operational Efficiency: Nestlé strives to improve operational efficiency to enhance profitability. This includes optimizing supply chain management, production processes, and cost control measures.
  • Resource Allocation: Nestlé allocates its resources and capital with discipline and clear priorities. This involves strategic acquisitions and divestitures to ensure its brand portfolio remains relevant and competitive.
  • Sustainability: Nestlé’s growth strategy also places emphasis on sustainability and responsible sourcing. This aligns with consumer preferences for eco-friendly and socially responsible brands.
  • Market Leadership: Nestlé aims to maintain its market leadership by delivering sustainable value in the short term and long term. This involves winning consumer trust and consistently meeting consumer expectations for quality and innovation.

Key Highlights

  • Diverse Brand Portfolio: Nestlé owns a wide range of consumer brands across various categories, including baby foods, bottled waters, cereals, coffee, confectionery, pet care, and more.
  • Origin Story: Nestlé’s history dates back to the late 1860s when the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company was founded. Henri Nestlé’s instant formula powdered milk product became the core of the company.
  • Brands Across Categories: Nestlé’s portfolio includes well-known brands in various categories:
    • Baby Foods: Cerelac, Gerber, NaturNes, etc.
    • Bottled Water: Nestlé Pure Life, Perrier, Poland Spring, etc.
    • Cereals: Chocapic, Cookie Crisp, Nesquik Cereal, etc.
    • Chocolate & Confectionery: KitKat, Milkybar, Smarties, etc.
    • Coffee: Nescafé, Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, etc.
    • Culinary & Frozen Food: Maggi, Lean Cuisine, Stouffer’s, etc.
    • Dairy: Carnation, Coffee-Mate, Nido, etc.
    • Drinks: Milo, Nesquik, Nestea, etc.
    • Ice Cream: Häagen-Dazs, Mövenpick, Nestlé Ice Cream, etc.
    • Petcare: Purina, Beneful, Fancy Feast, etc.
  • Financial Performance: In 2022, Nestlé made over 94 billion Swiss Francs (over $100 billion) in revenue. The powdered and liquid beverages segment, including coffee, cocoa, malt beverages, and tea, contributed significantly to its revenue.
  • Business Strategy: Nestlé’s strategy is centered around enhancing the quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. They focus on growth through innovation, operational efficiency, and allocating resources with discipline. Their aim is to reach mid single-digit organic growth by 2020 and improve their profit margin.
  • Future Outlook: Nestlé aims to generate demand for its brands, improve operational efficiency, and strategically allocate capital for acquisitions and divestitures to maintain dominance in the consumer food and beverage industry.
Value PropositionNestlé offers a compelling value proposition for its customers, including: – Nutrition and Wellness: Providing products that contribute to health and well-being. – Quality and Taste: Delivering high-quality and great-tasting food and beverages. – Diversity of Offerings: Offering a wide range of products for various preferences and dietary needs. – Global Reach: Being a globally recognized and accessible brand. – Sustainability Commitment: Demonstrating a commitment to sustainable sourcing and operations. – Innovation: Constantly innovating and adapting to changing consumer needs. – Consumer Trust: Earning trust through transparency and responsible practices. – Convenience: Offering convenient and ready-to-eat options for busy lifestyles.
Core Products/ServicesNestlé’s core products and services encompass: – Food and Beverages: Producing a vast array of food and beverage products, including coffee, dairy, confectionery, and more. – Nutritional Products: Developing specialized nutritional products for infants, children, and adults. – Healthcare Nutrition: Providing nutritional solutions for medical conditions and elderly care. – Pet Care: Offering pet food and care products through the Purina brand. – Nespresso: Operating a premium coffee brand with a focus on sustainability. – Nestlé Waters: Producing bottled water products from various sources. – Nestlé Professional: Catering to the food service and hospitality industry. – Nestlé Health Science: Delivering personalized health science solutions.
Customer SegmentsNestlé serves a diverse range of customer segments, including: – Consumers: Providing products for individuals and families across demographics. – Infants and Children: Developing specialized infant formula and nutrition products. – Healthcare Professionals: Offering nutritional solutions for medical purposes. – Pet Owners: Catering to pet owners with a range of pet food products. – Food Service Industry: Serving restaurants, cafes, and institutions through Nestlé Professional. – Retailers: Supplying a wide range of products to supermarkets and retail stores. – Coffee Enthusiasts: Attracting coffee lovers with Nespresso and Nescafé brands. – Global Reach: Extending products to consumers worldwide.
Revenue StreamsNestlé generates revenue through various revenue streams: – Product Sales: Earnings from the sale of food, beverages, and other products. – Nespresso: Income from premium coffee sales and coffee machines. – Healthcare Nutrition: Revenue from specialized nutritional products for medical purposes. – Purina PetCare: Earnings from pet food and care product sales. – Nestlé Waters: Income from bottled water sales. – Nestlé Professional: Revenue from supplying the foodservice and hospitality industry. – Licensing and Partnerships: Earnings from brand licensing and partnerships. – E-commerce: Sales through online platforms and direct-to-consumer channels.
Distribution StrategyNestlé employs a strategic distribution strategy to reach customers: – Retail Distribution: Partnering with retailers and supermarkets for widespread availability. – E-commerce: Expanding online sales channels for convenient shopping. – Nespresso Boutiques: Operating physical boutiques for premium coffee experiences. – Healthcare Professionals: Collaborating with healthcare providers and institutions. – Pet Specialty Stores: Distributing pet products through specialized retailers. – Food Service: Serving the food service industry with a dedicated division. – Global Presence: Maintaining a global network of manufacturing and distribution facilities. – Sustainability Initiatives: Incorporating sustainability into supply chain and distribution practices.

Related Visual Stories

Who Owns Nestlé


Nestlé Revenue

Nesté generated CHF 94.4 billion in 2022, compared to CHF 87 billion in 2021 and over CHF 84 billion in 2021.

Nestlé Profits

Nestlé generated CHF 13.9 billion in operating profits in 2022, compared to CHF 12.16 in 2021 and CHF 14.23 billion in 2020.

Nestlé Revenue Breakdown

Nestlé is a powerhouse in the consumer space, owning multiple brands. In 2022, most of the company’s revenue came from the powdered and liquid beverages segment, followed by pet care, nutrition & health science, and prepared dishes.

Nestlé Cost Structure

Nestlé’s cost structure is skewed toward marketing and distribution for its consumer brands. Its most substantial segment is the powder and liquid beverages business, which in 2022, for instance, on an over 25 billion Swiss Franc revenue, generated over 5 billion in operating profits.

Nestlé Employees

Nestlé had 275,000 employees in 2022, compared to 276,000 in 2021 and 273,000 in 2020.

Nestlé Revenue Per Employee

Nestlé generated over 340K Swiss Francs per employee in 2022, compared to over 315K in 2021 and over 308K in 2020.

Nespresso Revenue

Nespresso is one of the key brands part of the Nestlé family of consumer brands. Nespresso generated over 6.4 billion Swiss Franc revenue in 2022 (over $7 billion).

Nespresso Profits


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