ITALY – Nestlé, the global food and beverage powerhouse, has unveiled plans to inject a substantial €472 (approximately US$507) million into the construction of a new pet-food manufacturing facility in northern Italy. 

The announcement came from the Italian government, with Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Adolfo Urso, confirming the details on April 10, 2024.

The site, situated within the Valdaro industrial area in Mantua, is earmarked to specialize in the production of wet pet food, catering to the growing demand in the region. 

Spanning approximately 180,000 square meters, the ambitious project is poised to generate around 300 job opportunities. 

It is slated for completion by 2027, marking a significant milestone for Nestlé’s expansion strategy in Italy.

Marco Travaglia, President and CEO of Nestlé’s operations in Italy, expressed his satisfaction with the collaborative efforts between the company and the government. He emphasized the strategic importance of Italy within the rapidly evolving pet food sector.

Minister Urso echoed this sentiment, highlighting Nestlé’s decision as a testament to Italy’s resurgence as a key player in attracting global investment. He commended the dedicated support provided by the ministry to facilitate the project’s progression.

Nestlé’s venture into Italy follows a recent trend of substantial investments in its pet food division. Earlier this year, the company announced a significant boost to its Purina pet food factory in Hungary. 

The expansion, totaling around Ft90 billion (US$247 million), aimed to enhance production capacity by 66% annually. This initiative aligns with Nestlé’s overarching strategy to bolster its presence and meet growing consumer demands in the pet-care segment.

The ambitious venture entails the establishment of a new production unit along with the installation of two state-of-the-art automated production lines at the Bük facility. 

Upon completion, the plant is slated to ramp up its production capacity to a remarkable 500,000 tonnes of pet food annually, a substantial surge from the 200,000 tonnes recorded in 2019, becoming the largest food industry investment in Hungary.

In 2023, Nestlé’s PetCare division reported robust performance, with a turnover of SFr18.9 billion (US$20.7 billion), marking a notable increase from the previous year. This growth was fueled by strong momentum across all channels, contributing significantly to the company’s organic expansion.

With investments flowing into both existing and new facilities, Nestlé continues to position itself as a dominant player in the global pet food market, leveraging innovation and strategic partnerships to drive sustainable growth and meet evolving consumer preferences.

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