1.) Does it make sense for Nestle to focus its growth on emerging markets?
As it can be derived from the text, Nestle generates operates worldwide with a focus on European markets, which make up 70 percent of its sales. These markets are in the mature state of life cycle of that industry and additionally demographic changes such as the stagnation of population growth rates make it very hard companies like Nestle to generate higher profits through higher sales. As a matter of fact the western economies are actually facing a downturn in output and growth, thus influencing the consumption patterns of customers, especially in the retail business. Consumer are becoming more price aware and tend to spend less while demanding at the same time for customisation, product differentiation and specialization. Another trend is the shift away from branded food and beverages towards cheap non-branded foods and beverages. Nevertheless, the introduction of non-brand own labelled products such as Food Lion offers only makes sense in a large scale in order to achieve economies of scale. As a result of increasing non-brand cheap products offered by rivals, Nestle find itself in an even more embattled market and needs to develop a new strategy either away from branding or towards a higher degree of international market penetration. Since Nestle stands for high quality and has distinctive competencies in producing higher quality food, it would not make sense to change the strategic group, because it would most likely get stuck in the middle. The right strategy is to expand into new markets such as Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. Logically, in these markets the consumer behaviour, macroeconomic environment and cultural habits are different in contrast to western economies. Most of these markets are yet in a growth cycle and this clearly generates an opportunity because they are emerging markets and “untouched”. As mentioned in the text book China for instances will inhabit 700 million people by 2010 who will have nearly the same income levels as Spain has today. While income levels in these emerging markets will increase, people will gain a higher purchasing power with unsatisfied demands. Serving this demands is the right opportunity for Nestle to penetrate new markets, build up market share while at the same time using its profits to defend its old markets in the western economies through low prices. Concluding, I am strongly convinced that expanding into new markets is necessary for Nestle if it wants to stay a global player in the 21st century.
2.) What is the company’s strategy with regard to business development in emerging markets? Does it make sense?
Nestle follows the first mover advantage strategy which means that the company enters in an early stage the emerging markets, in order to establish a network there before competitors such as Unilever do so. The first step they make is to establish a substantial position by selling basic products such as infant formula and condensed milk to the customer with the goal to build up commending positions in each niche. In order to save the costly process of establishing a brand name, Nestle simply purchases local brand names which the consumer is accustomed to. This helps the company to overcome cultural barriers and customer resentments to foreign brands. After these niches of basic food supply are filled Nestle moves on into the more upscale segments such as chocolate, soft drinks and the like. Their strategy is to establish a basis and then expand into more niches as demand rises. Connected to the rising demand is the rising income level as the population can afford to spend more money on food products. As mentioned in the book, Nestle provides about 8500 brand names, but only 750 of them are registered in more than one country and only 80 are registered in more than ten countries. This is due to the fact that Nestle’s strategy is based on a broad...