Case Study

Nestlé Health Science S.A.: The race to the middle

6 pages
March 2011
Reference: IMD-3-2215

In June 2010 Peter Brabeck, chairman of Nestlé, made a presentation to the company’s board of directors outlining what he believed was a major long-term opportunity facing the company. Peter thought that Nestlé should enter the “market space” between the traditional food and beverage industry and the pharmaceutical industry by creating foods that could delay or even prevent illness such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Such disease-modifying foods had to date been created by only a few firms. But with aging populations in the developed world, rising health care costs and continued advances in food science, Peter had no doubt that more and more pharmaceutical companies, working from their science base, and food companies, working from their market knowledge and brand strength, would be attracted by the opportunity. The challenge for Nestlé was to move more decisively and quickly to the middle ground between the two existing industries, hence his characterization of the situation as a “the race to the middle.”

Learning Objective

The purpose of this case is to understand the role of a vision in reshaping the company and the need for its CEO to get buy-in from the board. In addition, the case gives readers an opportunity to look at the implications of the vision on a specific part of the organization in terms of organizational design (Neslé Health Sciences).

Vision, Transformation, Science-based Nutrition, Health Care Nutrition
Global, Switzerland
Published Sources
© 2011
Available Languages
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