雀巢欲斥巨资进军保健行业 Nestlé plans to bite into health industry with standalone unit
Nestlé is challenging the global drugs industry with plans to invest SFr500m ($510m) over the next decade to support the creation of a standalone health science business to tackle obesity and chronic disease.
The Swiss food group, which announced the move on Monday, appointed Luis Cantarell, one of its most experienced executives, to “pioneer a new industry between food and pharma” that will develop products to combat diabetes, heart problems and Alzheimer’s.
The decision reflects a trend among food and pharmaceutical groups that are converging around high-margin non- prescription health products, for both humans and animals.
“The combination of health economics, changing demographics and advances in health science show that our existing healthcare systems . . . are not sustainable and need redesigning,” said Peter Brabeck, chairman, a key backer of the Swiss group’s push into nutrition.
Pharmaceutical groups including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Aventis have placed increasing emphasis on consumer health products sold over the counter, in an effort to diversify away from high-risk traditional drug development.
Nestlé recently completed the divestment of Alcon, its specialist eyecare business, to Novartis.
The new health science division, to open in January, will include the group’s existing healthcare nutrition business, which had sales of SFr1.6bn last year.
By setting up a standalone subsidiary, the group may avoid perceived conflicts between core products, such as chocolate, and obesity – which now affects a sixth of the world’s population.
Some analysts are sceptical about a food company’s ability to break into this area, citing the time it has taken arch rival Danone of France, which has invested heavily in recent years, to see a significant payback.
Regulators, including the European Food Safety Authority, have begun imposing tougher standards to ensure any health-related claims are backed by science.
包括欧洲食品安全局(European Food Safety Authority)在内的监管机构，已开始实施更为严格的标准，以确保所有与健康相关的主张都有科学依据。
However, Nestlé said it was no newcomer and already had a pet food that holds back Alzheimer’s in dogs. The group says its Pro Plan Senior is “the first and only dog food to contain ANTI AGE – a nutrient blend proven to improve cognitive function and mental alertness in senior dogs.”
但雀巢表示，自己并非一位新进者，该公司已生产了一种治疗犬类老年痴呆症的宠物食品。该集团表示，冠能Senior(Pro Plan Senior) “是第一种、也是唯一一种含有抗老化物质的狗粮，事实证明，这种混合营养物质能够改善老年犬的认知功能和精神警觉性。”