Photo shows Nestle Philippines officials (from left) Peter Douglas Winter, technical director; Ernie Mascenon, corporate affairs director; Jacques Reber, chairman and CEO; and Sherilla Bayona, business executive manager, beverages. JOEY MENDOZA
MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos’ continued patronage of its chocolate drinks, coupled with the country’s sustained economic growth have prompted Swiss consumer goods giant Nestle to invest P2 billion to build a new Milo beverage factory in the Philippines – only the fourth of its kind in the world.
Nestle Philippines chairman and CEO Jacques Reber announced yesterday the group’s latest expansion project which would be on top of the P14 billion investments it had poured into the country over the last five years.
The Milo malt plant, which is being constructed on a 5,400 square meter property in Lipa, Batangas, will be Nestle’s sixth factory in the Philippines.
Nestle currently has three existing malt plants globally which are located in Singapore, Nigeria and Australia.
Reber said the Philippines has been selected as the site of the new malt plant because of the huge domestic demand for Milo products and the group’s strong confidence in the continued growth of the country’s economy.
The Philippines is currently Nestle’s biggest market in Southeast Asia, second biggest in Asia next to China, and eighth largest worldwide.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
“The Philippines is a key market for us at Nestle. For over a century, we have continually affirmed our confidence in, and commitment to the Philippines through our investments and expansion. Our P2 billion investment in the new Milo plant is another concrete demonstration of our commitment to the Philippines,” Reber said.
“It makes a lot of sense. We do believe in the future and potential of the Philippines,” he added.
The new malt plant will have an initial production capacity of 35,000 tons. Construction started in December last year and is targeted for completion in October next year.
“I don’t think this is the last investment we will do,” Reber said, referring to the firm’s ability to expand the plant’s capacity in the future.
“We are here to stay and invest,” he added.
The plant will produce protomalt, a key nutritional ingredient to make Milo.
At present, the company sources protomalt from Singapore where the Nestle Group’s biggest malt plant is located.