Nestlé helps keep shopkeepers afloat in Bangladesh

Dec 19, 2012
Nestlé delivery boat in Bangladesh
LOCAL DISTRIBUTION: The boat helps small shopkeepers to stock their shelves regularly

Nestlé has developed an innovative way to help small shopkeepers in remote areas of Bangladesh affected by flooding keep their businesses going.

Every year, many regions of the low-lying country are often flooded for months at a time following the annual monsoon season, so the only way to reach them is by water.

Nestlé has teamed up with a local distributor to use a boat to deliver its products to about 200 small outlets located in riverside communities to ensure their shelves are regularly stocked.

Supporting small businesses

“It’s not easy for shopkeepers to offer their customers a regular supply of products if there are no direct roads to their business,” said Stephane Nordé, Head of Nestlé Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh has a population of more than 150 million people, almost 80% of whom live in rural areas. Flooding leaves many of these communities isolated and restricts their income-generating activities.

“By working with local distributors to deliver our products in this way, we can enable more shopkeepers to sustain their business.”

“It’s not easy for shopkeepers to offer their customers a regular supply of products if there are no direct roads to their business.” Stephane Nordé, Head of Nestlé Bangladesh.

Multi-channel distribution

The Nestlé boat brings products including Nido milk, Maggi noodles and seasonings, and Nescafé coffee to shopkeepers in the south west of Bangladesh.

It is one of a number of creative methods used by the company to increase its distribution networks in emerging markets.


Worldwide, Nestlé works with thousands of local distributors to increase product availability by selling directly to small, regional stores or to consumers in street markets, community centres, and at social events.

Providing employment

In Africa, Nestlé operates a variety of street selling programmes such as ‘My Own Business’. The programme, which is run by the company’s ‘out-of-home’ business Nestlé Professional, not only allows it to reach consumers in highly congested urban areas, but also to employ young people who were previously out of work.

In Asia and Latin America, Nestlé’s ‘Direct Store Delivery’ initiative employs local sales agents who use small vans and motorbikes to distribute products directly to retailers.

The company’s other distribution channels include mobile Nescafé bars in Thailand and door-to-door sellers in Brazil.


Read more stories about Nestlé in emerging markets:
Nestlé opens first research and development centre in India
Nestlé continues to unlock growth opportunities in Africa
Nestlé supports cardiovascular research and health education in China

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