Nestlé invests €60m in Italian chocolate brand Baci Perugina

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Nestlé will invest in the region of €60m in its Baci Perugina brand of Italian chocolate pralines, in a bid to strengthen its position inside Italy and increase the number of export opportunities to overseas markets.

Around €15m will be used to strengthen its existing San Sisto factory in Perugia, central Italy, confirming its position as one of the centres of excellence for chocolate production within the Nestlé Group. The plan to modernise the facility includes the introduction of new technology and an advanced organisational model that will allow the factory to increase its competitiveness in an “increasingly challenging market”, Nestlé said.

The company’s commercial development strategy will, more generally, seek to make Perugina products a symbol of Italian excellence in a similar way to sparkling water brand S.Pellegrino.

It will set up a new confectionery international business unit, led by former S.Pellegrino executive Valeria Norreri, which will seek to support the international expansion plans and consolidate and develop the confectionery business in Italy.

Norreri said: “I enthusiastically accepted this nomination; for me it is a new, exciting challenge. Baci Perugina has an exceptional legacy of tradition. Sales results of several countries confirm that the product has the potential to win in foreign markets. Now we have the opportunity to develop its value in international markets, relying on the Italian talent that combines the quality of know-how with passion and lifestyle. It’s more than just chocolate: we will tell the pleasure of surrounding with small things, gestures of love, and Italian-style flirting to create unforgettable moments made in Baci Perugina.”

Leo Wencel, market head of Nestlé Italy, added: “The group firmly believes in the historical brand and the plan demonstrates it, because it aims to grow the brand in Italy and worldwide. This is the reason why we have made major investments and fielded a team of managers who have achieved significant results in brand repositioning and sales increases in the Italian as well as international markets. We are proud to contribute in confirming Perugia as the capital of chocolate not only in Italy but also internationally.”