Nestle has said it must embrace a greater sense of urgency in grasping opportunities for global growth.

Addressing the Consumer Analyst Group of Europe conference in London this morning (20 March), CEO Paul Bulcke told attendees the group was following a road-map key to measuring success and was based on Nestle’s ambition of being the world’s leading nutrition and wellness company.

“We are really pushing the boundaries of nutrition. In the past we have said and shared with you our strategic growth plan, our ambitions for the company. We have defined a road map on how we measure success, how we are going to leverage our competitive advantages, when and where we’re going to look for growth and defining how we’re going to do that effectively and efficiently.”

Bulcke said Nestle had secured a “deeper footprint” in the emerging markets, which generate almost 45% of turnover.

“There is a new middle class building in the new world. New consumers are coming, we feel that and we can go build our success on that growth.”

The CEO said Nestle was also keen to embrace “all types of new channels” that might represent a growth platform for the company, including Nestle Nutrition, Health & Wellness.

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Of this platform, he said Nestle is looking at engineering new technologies, R&D and personalised nutritional solutions.

“This is a new journey we are starting. It is about enhancing our capabilities, like the acquisition in China of Wyeth Nutrition. In the last year we have made great steps and positioned ourselves for continued growth.”

Bulcke said, of the global business, it would be looking at “grasping opportunities linked with innovation” and doing “meaningful M&A”. Digital was also an area he said Nestle had a interest in.

“We are going to focus more on digital. There is so much to be done there. We are putting resources in linked to media and how we can engage with consumers that is linked to e-commerce. But we want to deepen that much more. We think there is lots of value linked with that.”

Bulcke did, however, recognise the company is facing challenges globally.

“It is deep rooted, it’s nothing new coming to the surface but indeed there are many challenges. The debt crisis, instability linked to some political areas and countries, links with regulation and links with healthcare costs and the consumer… attitudes are changing quite dramatically. There is also new competition coming in, that is a challenge but at the same time a motivation. We are privileged to live in a time when it allows so many dimensions to the business.”

The key to gaining that success, Bulcke said, was about reconfirming its strategic direction and “keeping the momentum”.

“There is so much value linked with that. I do believe we have to embrace much more of a sense of urgency … if that is true that the direction is valid what we have to do even more and better… to have that feeling of intensity and urgency.

He added: “There are so many opportunities that you have to make choices and build the resources behind these. You have to give a timeline on these things in order to grasping the right opportunities and to make sure whatever is part of your business is adding to the party and not a drag on the business.”