Nestlé’s development plan for Perugina foresees a total investment of €60m ($66m) over three years, for strengthening the position in Italy, the development of export and the modernization of the production site of Perugia, according to Nestlé Italy’s corporate strategy director, Massimo Ferro.
Perugina has been around since 1922, according to the company, and it is currently distributed in Italy through all the channels, including confiserie (candy stores), as well as online.
New Confectionery International Business Unit
To stimulate the growth of the Italian chocolate business, Nestlé Italy launched Confectionery International Business Unit (IBU) on March 1st this year within its Confectionery Division, according to the company.
“This IBU will be steered by Valeria Norreri, one of the key figures in the international expansion process of S.Pellegrino brand,” Ferro said. “She will bring into Perugina the experience she gained.”
Nestlé Italy has already been an ambassador of the “live in Italian” campaign with Nestlé's S.Pellegrino brand, Ferro added.
“[S.Pellegrino] has been protagonist in recent years of an international expansion, which has contributed in transforming a mineral water into a product now recognized all around the world as a synonym of Italian excellence in the food and beverage market (1.3 billion bottles sold in 145 countries).”
Expanding export market
Nestlé Italy hopes its Perugina brand can achieve similar global success.
Baci Perugina is already sold in several foreign markets, such as Brazil, USA, and Japan, according to Ferro. “About 30% of Baci Perugina produced in Perugia factory are destined to international markets.”
Nestlé Italy plans to expand Perugina’s international presence by distributing to more countries this year, Ferro said.
Tackling changing consumption habits
The chocolate market in Italy relies on different sales channels, including retail, impulse channel, and the confiserie, and the Italian market is characterized by consumption occasions that are strictly linked to main festivals, for which Perugina has dedicated products, Ferro continued.
However, the Italian chocolate market has witnessed a change in consumption habits in recent years, which has caused a shift in purchasing patterns within different sales channels, Ferro said.
“The new IBU will come up with new strategy to strengthen and develop the business in this new scenario,” he said. “A historic, prestigious, quality brand like Perugina can and must seize all the opportunities to conquer more and more consumers in Italy and all over the world.”
Baci Perugina is the second local confectionery brand Nestlé has taken global in the past year. In October 2015, it announced plans to rollout Swiss premium chocolate brand Cailler in international markets.