ISRAEL – In response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Nestlé has reopened a plant in Israel that it had temporarily closed.

The world’s largest packaged foods company took this precautionary step to ensure the safety of its colleagues and employees.

The company, however, remained tight-lipped about providing specific details regarding the closure and reopening.

We focus on the safety of our colleagues and have taken precautionary measures.” A company spokesperson clarified that the plant’s closure was only for a “few days,” Nestlé stated.

The company operates seven facilities in Israel, covering various product categories, including confectionery, prepared dishes, powdered and liquid beverages, and products related to its nutrition and health science division, as indicated in Nestlé’s 2022 annual report.

While the report did not disclose specific revenue for Israel alone, it revealed that the combined revenue from Turkey and Israel amounted to US$1.6 billion in the previous year, up from SFr1.4 billion in the preceding 12 months.

These two countries accounted for 8% of sales in Nestlé’s Europe zone business region, which reported total sales revenue of SFr19.1 billion in 2022.

In the company’s nine-month fiscal results for 2023, the Europe region generated sales of SFr14.1 billion, slightly up from SFr14 billion the previous year, with organic growth at 8%.

Notably, the closely monitored measure of real internal growth (RIG), which excludes the effect of pricing, was -2.3% for the Europe region.

Nestlé’s CEO, Mark Schneider, emphasizing their commitment to the safety of their employees, did not provide specific comments regarding the company’s business developments but noted that necessary precautions had been taken.

For Nestlé as a whole, the nine-month sales totaled SFr68.8 billion, indicating a 0.4% decline in reported terms but a 7.8% increase on an organic basis. The measure of real internal growth (RIG) for the group was -0.6%, based on pricing of 8.4%.

In his commentary on the results, Schneider highlighted the strength of Nestlé’s diversified portfolio and differentiated offerings, which contributed to strong organic growth in the first nine months of the year.

He mentioned that the company had navigated historic inflation levels with growth driven by pricing. He also expressed confidence that real internal growth, a combination of volume and mix, would turn positive in the second half of the year and become the main driver of growth in the future.

Meanwhile, Nestlé has achieved the distinction of having the most patent requests granted in the food industry during the first nine months of the year.

The company secured 169 approved patent applications in various categories, showcasing its commitment to innovation and product development.