Analyst Corner: Nestle India is best play on fast growing packaged food space

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Published: January 25, 2019 12:16:18 AM

Nestle is winning back market share in its core categories on the back of increasing focus on distribution, product launches and strong media campaigns.

Analyst Corner: Nestle India is best play on fast growing packaged food space

We believe Nestle is the best way to play the fast growing packaged food space in India. We are impressed by volume growth turnaround and expect strong growth to continue. Nestle is winning back market share in its core categories on the back of increasing focus on distribution, product launches and strong media campaigns. While beverages & chocolates will lead the growth, other segments (milk products & nutrition, prepared dishes) are also outperforming industry growth. We are 5-6% ahead of consensus for CY19E/20E earnings. We prefer Nestle over Britannia as: 1) Nestle has superior return ratios despite trading at similar valuations, per consensus; and 2) Nestle deserves a premium for its diversified product portfolio and access to brands and technology from the parent firm.

Nestle is winning back market share in infant nutrition with new value-added products and increasing distribution. In the last 5-7 years, Nestle has lost market share to global players with strong access to pharmacies. Nestle has built a robust ecosystem over the years and new products launches are helping it bounce back. Incumbents like Nestle will continue to benefit in an industry which has restrictions on advertising. We believe value-added products like ‘NAN Excella Pro’, NANGROW and Ceregrow can add significant growth.

We believe the beverage and chocolate segments will lead growth in the medium term. In beverages, success of value-added products like Nescafe RTD (ready to drink category) and increasing distribution is helping growth. In chocolates, Nestle has lost meaningful market share, especially to Ferrero, in the last 5-7 years.

Nestle is gaining this back with aggressive launches (Munch-o- Nuts, KitKat Dessert Delight) that have done well in the last one year. We expect the strong market share gain momentum to continue and we believe Nestle is still some distance away from peak market share. Management has indicated that brand extensions are an important growth driver for Maggi.

Nestle India (NEST) is a subsidiary of world’s largest foods company, Nestle. Nestle enjoys market leadership in 7 out of 9 categories it operates in. Primarily it caters to 4 segments: 1) Milk products & nutrition (48.1% of domestic revenue), 2) Prepared dishes and cooking aids (28%), 3) Chocolates and confectionaries (12.7%) and 4% respectively) and beverages (11.2%). Recently NEST entered breakfast cereals category. Some of the popular brands include NESCAFE, MAGGI, KitKat, Cerelac, NAN, Lactogen etc.

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