STRATEGIC PARTNERS: Nestlé Professional works closely with chefs worldwide to create innovative dishes.
Many of China’s leading chefs are working with Nestlé Professional to develop new twists on traditional recipes using its products.
The company has opened a ‘customer engagement centre’ in Beijing to gain insights into Chinese food and beverage trends that could help drive its business in the country.
The centre, which features a kitchen and a beverage preparation bar, enables Nestlé Professional chefs and baristas to work together with their peers in the professional foodservice industry.
It is part of the company’s ‘Chef2Chef’ strategy that enables it to work closely with chefs worldwide to create innovative dishes containing Nestlé Professional products that they can use in their own menus, and recommend to their contemporaries.
“We are learning a lot from Chinese chefs,” said Dieter Hemmer, Head of Global Branded Food for Nestlé Professional.
“They are not only our customers; they are also highly-skilled professionals with a great deal of expertise and in-depth knowledge of their market.
“It’s only by working with them that we can better understand their needs, and the desires of the people they serve in their own restaurants.”
Nestlé Professional supplies the food and beverage service out-of-home industry. The company’s global portfolio of food products includes bouillons, soups, sauces, seasonings and dairy.
“One of our best-selling products in China is Carnation evaporated milk,” Mr Hemmer continued.
“It’s the kind of dairy product you wouldn’t expect to find in traditional Chinese cuisine, but we partnered with chefs to create new and better ways for them to use it.
“Our version of a popular dish called ‘egg tart’, using Nestlé whipping cream, has also proved highly successful.
“Our collaboration with chefs is not necessarily designed to change our products,” he added. “It’s about finding new ways of using them to complement or improve existing recipes.”
HIGHLY-SKILLED: Leading chefs offer Nestlé Professional insights into Chinese food and beverage trends.
Nestlé Professional says it is tapping into a growing trend for fusion cuisine in China.
“We see more and more chefs taking what were traditionally regarded as western ingredients and giving them a local spin,” said Mr Hemmer.
“Foods that were not previously popular in China, for example smoked salmon and salad, are now beginning to appear on menus.”
Nestlé Professional’s customer engagement centre in Beijing opened in November 2012.
The company plans to open three more such centres in China, with the next in Shanghai in 2014.
It aims to use the experience it gains in the country in its businesses in regions across Asia, Oceania, and Africa, as well as in other parts of the world.
Nestlé Professional’s global food business brands include Chef and Maggi seasonings, sauces and bouillons and Nestlé Docello desserts.
The company’s food brands In North America include Minor's sauces and gravy, while in Europe they include Davigel frozen and chilled foods, and Erlenbacher frozen baked cakes and desserts.
Nestlé Professional’s beverages business provides branded hot and cold non-carbonated drinks such as Nescafé, Coffee-mate, Nesquik, Nestea and Vitality to the commercial and institutional restaurant industry. It also offers beverage systems such as Nescafé Alegria, Nescafé Milano and Viaggi.
Globally, Nestlé Professional is present in more than 90 countries with more than 10,000 employees, including a large number of skilled chefs.
The company has a similar centre to the one in Beijing in the United States as well as at its Davigel headquarters in Dieppe, France. It also has smaller experimental kitchens in a variety of other regions including France, Italy, Scandinavia and Singapore.
Read more stories about Nestlé Professional:
Nestlé launches coffee machine for small businesses in Europe
Nestlé Professional skills up future chefs
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