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Feb 01, 2011

Cereal Partners Worldwide opens new innovation center in Switzerland

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General Mills and Nestlé invest in continued success of 20-year breakfast cereal partnership

At an event today in Orbe, Switzerland, executives from Nestlé and General Mills attended the opening of an innovation center for Cereal Partners Worldwide, (CPW), a joint venture between the two companies.

The new $50 million facility in Orbe will focus on innovation to deliver new consumer benefits through CPW’s breakfast cereals, including improved nutrition, taste and quality.  This state-of-the-art technical facility will design and develop new platforms for future growth, including product innovation, technology, packaging, and nutrition research and development. 

Nestlé and General Mills established the joint venture in 1990, and today CPW is the world’s second largest cereal producer, marketing more than 50 brands – including Fitness, Cheerios, Chocapic and Nesquik.   CPW markets cereal in 130 countries worldwide, and holds leading market positions in a number of those countries. 

The center was inaugurated today by Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé;  Ken Powell, chairman and CEO, General Mills; and Christi Strauss, president and CEO of CPW.  Claude Recordon, mayor of Orbe, and Philippe Leuba, minister of the Canton Vaud, also attended the event.

Bulcke outlined the strength of the partnership and added, “This is a complementary mix of skills, as General Mills has a proven cereal marketing approach, technical excellence and a wide portfolio of successful U.S. brands; and Nestlé has a strong worldwide presence and brands, together with a deep local market and distribution knowledge and production facilities.” 

Strauss said the new global research and development hub will leverage scientific knowledge from both partners.  “CPW already leverages expert support in science and research from both Nestlé and General Mills, but this will make it much easier to collaborate across our R&D facilities.  It will ensure that CPW provides consumer-preferred products, irrespective of geographic location.”

Powell reinforced CPW’s commitment to advancing the health benefits cereal can provide, saying, “General Mills has been growing and innovating in the breakfast cereal category for more than 80 years, and we see a bright future for CPW as consumers around the world look to nutritious foods like cereals to help them live healthier lives.”

The new innovation center also illustrates CPW’s commitment to environmental sustainability by meeting the requirements for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in the United States, and Swiss-based certifying agency MinergieEco.

As consumers have increasingly sought healthier choices at breakfast over the past five years, CPW has significantly and progressively increased whole grain in its cereals, while reducing salt and sugar levels.  During this time, more than 3 billion servings of whole grain have been added to CPW cereals.

The strong partnership and dedication to health is also reflected in the commitment of both Nestlé and General Mills as members of the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), promoting balanced diets and healthy lifestyles.  In 2008, the CEOs of each of the IFBA members committed to a set of five actions over the next five years globally:  reformulating products; communicating nutrition; advertising responsibly; encouraging physical activity; and supporting the World Health Organisation’s Global Strategy.

CPW:  More Than 20 Years of Global Expansion

Under its vast breakfast cereal portfolio, CPW today offers well-known brands such as Shreddies, Fitness, Chocapic and Nesquik.

1990: CPW signs an agreement with Rank Hovis McDougall (RHM) for the Shredded Wheat  Company and AC Fincken, both in the UK, providing a 12 percent share of the UK market.

1991:  CPW enters the European markets of France, Spain and Portugal.

1992:  CPW extends to Mexico.

1993: CPW assumes the breakfast cereals business from Nestlé in Asia – including the  Philippines,  Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

1994: The acquisition of Torurí - Pacific, a breakfast cereal manufacturing company in Poland, is  finalized to further extend its presence in the cereal category.

1995:  Nestlé breakfast cereals are launched in Italy, Ireland, Germany and Switzerland.  Nestlé  also transferred its existing breakfast cereal businesses in Greece, Austria and Belgium into  CPW.  CPW also expanded to Columbia and Hong Kong, while adding existing Nestlé cereal  businesses in Chile and the Caribbean.

1996: CPW enters Argentina and Brazil.

1997: CPW enters Russia.

1998:  CPW is introduced into Romania and the Baltic states.

1999: The successful partnership launches its breakfast cereals in Turkey.

2001:  CPW launches first cereal bars in Europe. 

2002: CPW enters China, and launches Milo in Australia.

2006: CPW acquires the Uncle Tobys cereal business, and the following year, it started production in  Australia. 

2009: Milo and Cheerios launch in South Africa.

For more information, contact:

Kirstie Foster
General Mills
763-764-6364