A Reuters survey of five analysts has pointed to an anticipation that growth at Swiss food giant Nestlé is about to experience a slowdown.

"It has a defensive portfolio but it is not immune from a slowdown," Bank Leu analyst Daniel Buerki told Reuters. He pointed to a likely weakness for the company in the US and South American markets.

The dairy, ice cream, coffee and confectionery products manufacturer is expected to post sales of €42.42bn  (US$38.26bn) for the first nine months of the year, representing sales growth of 5.7%. This will be a marked slowdown from 6.3% in the first half of the year.
 
The analysts commented however that they are looking for clues on the behemoth's operating margins, which weakened in the H1 of this year.

On a positive note however, the analysts told Reuters that the world's largest food group should outdo its long term target on internal growth, the internal benchmark that strips out the impact of prices changes, acquisitions and foreign exchange rates. This should reach 4.3%, 0.3% above its own target according to analysts.