RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, China, United Kingdom, South Africa, Malaysia, and Singapore. This is the list of countries that will receive roasted coffee made 100% in Uruguay, in the modern plant that Nestlé inaugurated in 2018 after an investment of about US$23 million.
The business exploded after a second wave of investments of about US$7 million in 2019 to expand production capacity. After signing an agreement with the multinational Starbucks, this came as part of a global coffee alliance between the two companies. Nestlé acquired the rights to market coffee or tea products directly to consumers and foodservice channels worldwide.
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According to the executive, the agreement with Starbucks was vital because it “caught the attention” of several markets. In addition to the products of this brand, several products of the Nescafé brand were added, both in the out-of-home and retail sectors.
“We made an important investment three years ago to create a modern factory to produce roasted coffee; at the same time, we bought the rights to the Starbucks brand. The combination of the two actions, the globally competitive factory and having this global brand together with local brands, created development opportunities for this factory,” Laurent Freixe, CEO of Nestlé for the Americas, told El Empresario.
After winning the first markets in the region and South Africa, the company added business in Europe and Asia, where it will start exporting by the end of the year.
“This year, we started with a perspective of a meager percentage of production and plant occupancy, and we will end up exporting to more than 15 countries. There is a great opportunity for growth in Uruguay, considering that this is the first year. In addition to leading the local market, there is a window to position the country in the world,” he remarked.
In his opinion, the country could become a reference for the company, because “to the stability offered by Uruguay” is added a “Nestlé team with know-how and expertise in roasted and ground coffee, the modern factory and the free trade agreements with many countries, among other favorable conditions for doing business,” Freixe enumerated.
The Uruguay plant is one of the four roasted coffee production plants of the company in the world. The others are in Brazil, Spain, and Portugal.