Page 16 - Food&Drink July 2019
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Following the science
A company reorganisation was the perfect time for Danone to bring its science-based specialised nutrition portfolio together under the Nutricia brand. Kim Berry spoke with Nutricia Oceania managing director Rodrigo Lima.
QWhy did the
rebrand happen?
Nutricia began in the Netherlands almost 120 years ago. In 2007, it was bought by the French group Danone. We have just undergone some reorganisation here in Australia and New Zealand, which was perfect timing for us to relaunch our Nutricia brand in the science-based specialised nutrition category.
QFrom an operational standpoint, how will things change?
First of all, there are a number of back office synergies we have
been able to take advantage of. So instead of having a duplicate leadership team in Australia and New Zealand, we have only one now and a number of other synergies in finance, HR, operations, and many other reporting functions.
Most importantly it has improved interactions with our customers.
While our focus is on patients, talking to doctors and educating them about our products make them our biggest stakeholder. In the past we had maybe two people visiting the same doctor. Now we have one point of contact for the doctor.
Economically it makes sense for us as well as being less time consuming for the doctor.
QCan you tell us about the main components of Nutricia in Australia and
New Zealand?
Infant nutrition is the core of our business and it will probably remain so. It is still
growing quite well for us. We are specialists in providing babies with the right nutrients for the first thousand days of life and have products in different categories within the infant formula space.
Most, if not all of our products are manufactured in
New Zealand. We have just invested NZ$110 million over the last five years to double production capacity at our
New Zealand factory. The quality standards we have are the highest in the world.
But we have sizeable business in other categories as well.
We are one of the world leaders with products for hospital patients and for those in intensive care.
We have other patients with cancer for example, who are undergoing chemotherapy.
We have products for people with metabolic diseases who cannot metabolise specific nutrients, as well as special diets for them.
QHow are you looking to grow the Nutricia brand?
From a business standpoint, we will invest in further building Nutricia’s position in Australia and New Zealand as a strong science-based, research-driven brand that endorses our large portfolio of specialised nutrition products and services.
We would like to accelerate our growth. That’s number one because we’ve been growing at a steady pace of four to five per cent per year, but we want to accelerate that.
And the way we’re going to do that is through innovation.
We are investing in healthy ageing as well. Take our product Souvenaid, which has been developed to treat early signs
of Alzheimer’s.
A number of clinical trials have been completed. More trial results are due to be published early next year. The results are extremely promising.
Our ageing population is growing and the trend is that they are becoming more health
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