Nestle expects sales of its health nutrition business to double from five years ago as the Swiss company expands in personalised supplements and allergy treatments, chief executive Mark Schneider said.
Revenue will reach about 4 billion Swiss francs (€3.7bn) by the end of 2021, Mr Schneider said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
In a consumer landscape dominated by Covid-19, the CEO has been accelerating a drive to refashion a company better known for food and drink brands such as ready-meals and Nespresso coffee.
The unit “has been on a tear even before the pandemic,” he said. “This is going to be one of our key growth drivers.”
Nestle last month agreed to buy Aimmune Therapeutics for $2.6bn (€2.2bn) in its biggest push yet into health science, adding a promising peanut allergy treatment to its offering.
That follows the $2.3bn purchase of Canadian supplements maker Atrium Innovations in 2018, adding brands such as Garden of Life probiotics and CBD drops.
Sales growth has been strong for vitamins, minerals and supplements, the CEO said. Nestle will also pay more attention to the fortification of food products amid increased demand, he said.
“There is a renewed interest in health and nutrition that advances health and strengthens the immune system,” Mr Schneider said. “I think this is here to stay, certainly throughout the later stages of this pandemic, and we believe also beyond that.”
The company has a stock market value of almost €296bn.