Nestlé brings Australian cereals, nut bars to China through e-commerce

By Douglas Yu contact

- Last updated on GMT

Uncle Tobys snacks are expected to appeal to Chinese middle-class consumers. Pic: Nestlé
Uncle Tobys snacks are expected to appeal to Chinese middle-class consumers. Pic: Nestlé
Nestlé has brought its Australian cereal and snack bar brand, Uncle Tobys, to China through one of the country’s biggest e-commerce platforms, VIP.com.

The company said the deal opens the door to VIP.com’s customer base of over 300 million – more than the population of Australia. The shopping website has experienced 23% growth in 2017, up from last year when total turnover was over $8.2bn, said Nestlé.

“The new products available on VIP.com are made in Australia, creating a potential boom for Nestlé Australia’s local manufacturing base and suppliers, including farmers,”​ Nestlé added. 

“Our commitment to manufacturing in Australia enables us to draw upon and nurture local supply chains of premium quality raw materials,”​ said Scott Coles, Nestlé’s general manager of nutritious snacks.

He said Nestlé is part of the National Oat Breeding Program, which aims to produce oat varieties with higher yields, better disease tolerance and improved milling properties.

Social media targets the middle class

Coles believed Uncle Tobys snacks would have “strong appeal”​ for Chinese middle-class consumers, even though it is still a “hugely competitive market.

“It’s clear you need to be clever in your marketing in China and social media is vital,”​ he said. “WeChat has over half a billion users in China, and they’re deeply engaged in the platform.”

“Nestlé Australia will be investing heavily in engaging with key influencers and their audiences. We’re keen to reach young Chinese parents, many of whom are very nutrition conscious and have faith in Australian made and packed products,” ​Coles said.

He added the China Free Trade Agreement had also paved the way for Australian food producers and manufacturers to sell to the country. 

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