The line will manufacture Extreme ice cream cones, a new product for the Polish market that is claimed to have been a big success in other international markets. The company says that the installation is the most technologically advanced line in Europe and comes as part of an investment programme in the facility which has exceeded PLN33 million (€6.9m)investment made during the past two years in the ice-cream segment in Poland.
In addition to being sold in Poland, ice-cream products made at Namys³ów factory are currently exported to 14 different countries, which include among others Germany, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. With the investment in the facility, Nestlé says it plans to increase its share of the domestic ice cream market to 15 per cent.
"We view the Polish ice cream market as having large growth potential, be it the impulse, family or OOH segment, hence Nestlé's decision on additional investments. By our estimates, Poles consume just 3-4 litres of ice-cream a year, while the European average is twice as much. That is why we have been expanding our range and seeking to convince Poles to take to ice-cream consumption throughout the year, not just in summer," said Olivier Goudineau, head of Nestlé's Polish ice-cream branch.
Nestlé says its current ice cream range now includes more than 80 varieties and flavours. These include absolute novelties, such as the Extreme cone and the La Cremeria family line of seven flavours, and also Cortina ice-cream, already known on the Polish market and now coming with new, upgraded recipes, plus a host of impulse products in renewed flavours and revamped graphical outlay.
"Currently, more than two-thirds of our range are new products, such as the Extreme cone, La Cremeria family line, and the revamped Cortina ice-cream. Seeking to meet consumer's expectations in advance, we have been expanding and diversifying our offer every year, " Olivier Goudineau said.
The newly-installed line for Extreme cones draws on what the company calls cutting-edge technological solutions, which allow the line to be operated according to the strictest parameters for quality and efficiency. With an extended system of filling and dosing devices, cones of complex shapes can be obtained - and their wafer is additionally covered on the inside with a thin chocolate layer. The stations to coat the wafer with chocolate have been designed at Nestlé's New Technology Centre in Beauvais, France. Throughout the technological process - from shaping to freezing - the cone keeps the upright position, thus preventing deformations. In the 2004 season, the new line will turn out five varieties of the Extreme cone; in hazelnut, strawberry, pistachio, chocolate and cherry flavours.
Reflecting the importance of ice cream in Nestlé's international portfolio, more than 35 of the group's factories around the world make ice-cream. R&D and new launches are taken care of by the Product Technology Centre in Beauvais (France), Research and Development Centres in Parma (Italy) and Marysville (USA), and more than 20 Applications Groups, including one at its Namys³ów factory.
Nestlé has done much to strengthen its brand reach in both Poland and the Central European region in recent years. It acquired Schöller in 2002, strengthening its position in Germany and getting easier access to other markets in northern and central Europe, including Poland. Then in 2003 Nestlé acquired the Movenpick brand, which is highly popular in Europe - mainly in Switzerland and Germany, but also in Poland.
Nestlé has been present in Poland since 1993, when it launched Nescafé instant coffee and Nesquik chocolate drink. In later years, Nestlé made several acquisitions, and is now a leading player on the Polish food market, offering consumers products under a number of renowned brands, both Polish and international. These include Winiary (culinary products) Goplana (sweets), Nestlé (sweets, baby food and breakfast cereals), Schöller and Nestlé (ice cream), Na³êczowianka, Nestlé Aquarel and Perrier Vittel (mineral water), and Purina and Friskies (pet food). Nestlé runs nine factories in Poland, employing more than 4,000 people. Annual sales exceed PLN2.3 billion.