Companies rely on the clientele base to predict the sales volume. Themanagement strives to meet the needs of the consumers. The changingpreferences and the need to adapt to various market forces demand aflexible marketing strategy. Nestle is a major player in the beverageand food industry. As a multinational company, the leadership dealswith heterogeneous customers. It has been under criticism for itsmarketing strategy for the baby formula.
Nestle was a pioneer in manufacturing the milk peripheral. Some ofthe health institutions around the world viewed the alternative as athreat to exclusive breastfeeding (Brady and Srour 2014, P. 211). Themarketing of the supplement became a center of scrutiny byinternational organizations. Its promotion in the third worldcountries resulted in a consumer boycott in the developed nationssince some perceived it as a breach of business ethics (Boyd 2011, P.283). Consequently, the reputation of the company suffered a blowthat wormed into the sales. The resistance against the commodity wasmainly due to poor marketing strategy in the progressing countries.Addressing the challenge can put the product back on the predictedtrack.
Analysis of the Situation
The United States Food and Administration provides that more than onemillion infants in the country depend on baby formula for up to threemonths (Santiago, 2015 P 51). In addition, the appropriate use ofcomplementary foods can save the lives of more than 1.5 millionchildren annually. When Nestle began its campaign for supplements inthe developing countries, infant complications resulted due to pooradministration and sanitation (Brady and Srour 2014, P. 213). Thealarm led to the World Health Organization banning its advertising.The resolution by the giant global health player resulted in lossesand laceration of the organization’s reputation. Also, theleadership has been under heavy criticism for compelling itsemployees to pose as nurses while advertising the controversialproduct.
Problem Specific Data
The attitude and resistance towards the generic commodity are viewedas a fight towards the company rather than the industry. Therefore,Nestle can recapture the market share it intended to dominate throughthe application of ethical market practices. According to Santiago(2015), the increased number of mothers who resort to usingsupplements should advise the management on the expanding market. Inthe United Kingdom, only 13% of the lactating parents observe thesix-month exclusive breastfeeding (P. 51). The world healthorganization has relaxed its stance on the advertising of the babysupplements but continues to emphasize on its correct administration.
Most of the countries have also ratified the law restricting theadvertisements of breast milk alternatives. For example, the UnitedKingdom, India, Switzerland, Germany, United States, and Australiaamong others have subscribed to the regulation (Brady and Srour 2014,P. 213). They have also banned the use of the products as gifts fornursing women. In developing countries where mothers are susceptibleto be influenced by donations, WHO has been on the lookout forcompanies using such methods to woo consumers. The information isinstrumental in deciding the most viable marketing approach thatwould not contravene the adopted regulations.
The number of mothers opting to use supplements is an avenue toincrease sales. The developed countries provide a favorable marketsince they have decisive support factors including proper sanitationand top-notch maternal health. According to Brady and Srour (2014),more than 80% of the children do not receive exclusive breastfeedingfor the first six months (P. 212). Nestle can exploit the opportunityby infiltrating the food market without necessarily investing heavilyon advertising.
In the third world nations, infant health organizations quote poorsanitation and poor administration of the formula as a primary causeof diarrhea among children. According to WHO, about 95% of childrensubjected to supplements before six months are at risk of diarrhea(Brady and Srour 2014, P. 214). Nestlé’s leadership should takethe challenge of inappropriate feeding and provide instructions tothe mothers on how to use the commodity. The move can revert thetrend of post-administration complications.
Solution to the Problem
The management’s primary objective should focus on remainingcompliant with the international regulations on breast milksubstitute. The western nations are prime targets for their increaseduse of the auxiliary lactation products. Besides, the consumersrequire less instruction on healthy feeding. The marketing departmentshould be cautious not to include any promotional strategy thatcontradicts the set regulations.
In the less progressed states, WHO data indicates that millions ofchildren suffer malnutrition due to inadequate vital nutrients(Santiago 2015, P. 53). Therefore, the appropriate use of supplementscan significantly improve the survival rates. According to Brady andSrour (2014), the consumer base also lacks sufficient knowledge onthe hygiene while using spoon or bottle-feeding (P 214). Nestleshould introduce instruction manuals alongside the products.Furthermore, not all countries have ratified the non-advertisingregulation. The business can use the window to promote the product inthe markets. The success of such methods will affect the company’sreputation as well as the attitude towards the use of baby formula.
In conclusion, Nestle faces a marketing challenge for its milksupplements. The health organizations across the world have a hardstance on the need for breastfeeding for first six months. Thepromotion of the product in such an environment is subject toreproach. The marketing managers can target the opening markets andtrend cautiously without rebutting the rules. In the third worldcountries, the marketing department is responsible for providinginstruction on administration to avoid suffering the blame in case ofdeath because of poor hygiene during bottle and spoon-feeding.
Boyd, C., 2012, ‘The Nestlé infant formulacontroversy and a strange web of subsequent business scandals,’Journal of Business Ethics,vol. 106,no. 3, pp.283-293.
Brady, J.P. & Srour, L., 2014, ‘India, Laosand South Africa reject sponsorship and gifts from formulacompanies,’ African Health Sciences,vol.14, no. 1, pp. 211-215.
Santiago, S., 2015, ‘Formula frustrations,’Pediatric Annals,vol. 44,no. 2, pp. 51-54.