Appoints athlete Haile to be brand ambassador
Operating over 2000 brands across the world with one billion units’ sales annually, Nestle announced that it is considering Ethiopia to be one of its manufacturing destinations in the coming years although a final decision is yet to be made on setting up the manufacturing plant.
Wosenyeleh S. Fikre, cluster manager of Nestle for the Horn of Africa and the Equatorial African Region, told The Reporter that the Swiss transnational foods and drinks company, headquartered in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland has plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia where it is identifying untapped opportunities for the future.
According to Wosenyeleh, the plant which is to be set up in Ethiopia is likely to focus on diary and dairy products. However, the availability, quality and health standards in these sectors might deter the process of setting up a manufacturing plant. For that reason, Wosenyeleh said that Nestle is gearing up to roll out a packaging unit for its dairy products by way of testing the waters for its plans to expand to a manufacturing plant. He said that Ethiopia is one of the top 20 countries in world with huge potential and definitely among the top five prioritized in the Equatorial African region.
In a related event, Nestle has appointed the long distance legendary runner Haile Gebreselassie to be its brand ambassador in Ethiopia. Accordingly, the legendary athlete and the business titan, Haile will represent the newly-repacked NIDO, one of Nestle’s instant diary formula brands. Nestle rebranded NIDO and launched a new product line which comes in 25g packaging to make it available across the fast moving consumables’ market. Nestle is also trying it reposition itself in the highly competitive Ethiopian formula milk market. Apart from exporting various consumables to Ethiopia, Nestle also buys premium coffees from Ethiopia, Wosenyeleh said. So far, the Dolce and Nespresso coffee chains source their coffee from the Ethiopian coffee market.
Athlete Haile, aside from his multimillion dollar businesses is entrenching himself in the commercial market. Previously, he has been involved with Total and ZTE as their brand ambassador in Ethiopia and back in 2010 the great athlete faced criticisms when he appeared to represent Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky. He was paid some 100,000 dollars for his role but he says he was misunderstood at the time. Now he is representing Nestlé’s NIDO for one year. Both Haile and representatives of Nestle declined to mention the monetary value of the contract.