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Halloween is a week away, but Nestlé isn't banking on Kit Kat sales to carry the day.
The Swiss food-and-beverage giant recorded its highest quarterly sales growth in six years, even as many of its core products took a hit.
Earlier this week, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser reported stronger than expected results driven by robust demand for cleaning products such as Tide and Lysol.
Nestlé, the world's largest packaged-food maker, doesn't sell cleaning or disinfecting brands. Nestlé reported third quarter sales growth of 4.9%, beating analyst estimates, but more tepid than the 13% and 9% seen at Reckitt and P&G, respectively.
- On The Go: Nestlé said products that are normally consumed "on the go" such as water bottles and Milkybars were down 25%+ and will be a drag for some time.
- Circle Of Trust: So-called "trusted brands" and comfort foods such as DiGiorno and Stouffer's saw healthy growth.
- E-commerce: Online sales shot up nearly 50% for all the obvious reasons.
In recent years, Nestlé has doubled-down its health-sciences business.
CEO Mark Schneider, who took the reigns in 2017, plans to turn the company into a "health and nutrition powerhouse" through both acquisitions and organic growth. And he's been busy:
- Nestlé recently announced the $2.6 billion acquisition of Aimmune Therapeutics, the first company to have an approved treatment for peanut allergies.
- This year Nestlé also acquired a gastrointestinal medication brand and took a majority stake in a collagen supplements company.
The Takeaway: The health and wellness trend doesn't appear to be fading anytime soon.