Nestlé opens its first Gerber cereal snacks plant in China

Organic and regular Gerber NutriPuffs in eight flavors

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The first Chinese plant of Gerber star products officially put into production (pic courtesy - Nestle)

Nestlé celebrated the opening of the Nestlé Gerber Nutripuff factory in Shuangcheng, Harbin with a grand ceremony. The event marks the first official production of Gerber Nutripuff in China, which is said to be an important milestone in the continuous localization of Gerber, a leading international brand of baby nutrition under Nestlé.

The total investment of the brand-new Gerber Nutripuff factory is approximately RMB 100 million (approximately Rs 100 crore). Equipped with high-tech automatic equipment, including fully automated canning and packaging lines imported from the UK, USA, and Switzerland, the production line claims to have an annual production capacity of about 1,400 tons. The factory follows the US Green Building Council (LEED), Gold Standard.

Rashid Qureshi, chairman, and chief executive officer of Nestlé Greater China said, “In the 1980s, Shuangcheng was Nestlé’s first location to invest in China. It occupies a special place in my mind. We’ve witnessed Nestlé’s development for more than 30 years here, creating shared value for all stakeholders. This new factory represents Nestlé’s latest investment in Shuangcheng and demonstrates Nestlé’s great confidence and firm commitment to the Chinese market.”

Gerber is a baby nutrition brand under Nestlé. It is well-known for its infant supplement food, with many sub-categories including infant cereals, fruit and vegetable puree, and puffs that are very popular among Chinese babies. According to the press statement, the puff products to be produced in China are the star products of Gerber, including organic and non-organic puff products, with a total of 8 flavors. Cans and flexible packaging are 100% recyclable, reflecting Nestlé’s strong commitment to sustainability.

It is worth mentioning that the raw rice used by Gerber Nutripuff also comes from Songnen Plain in Heilongjiang Province, an area with abundant sunshine and the significant temperature difference between day and night. The rice – Akitakomati rice – is watered by Nenjiang River, organically grown, and certified by the state. From seed selection, sowing, field management, harvesting, drying and storage to processing, a dedicated agricultural team provides technical guidance and supervision to ensure safety and traceability. The rice is sent to the Gerber factory for processing within 24 hours after hulling to ensure the rice retains its nutritious value.

Binu Jacob, senior vice president – Infant Nutrition Business Unit for Nestlé Greater China, said, “Nestlé has been committed to providing Chinese consumers with nutritious, healthy and safe products to help people live healthier. This time, in the construction of Gerber Nutripuff factory in Shuangcheng, we hope to provide nutritious and quality-assured supplement food to help Chinese babies to meet their growing needs at different stages. We also believe that Nestlé’s technical advantages and industrial advantages of Shuangcheng will create greater economic and social benefits, promote the development and upgrading of the Shuangcheng agriculture and food industry, and promote a win-win for local economic and social development.”

Nestlé’s first factory in China, established in Shuangcheng, produces milk powder, cereals, and infant formula. Built-in 1987 at the beginning of China’s reform and opening-up, the milk factory signaled the start of Nestlé’s journey in China. For more than 30 years, Nestlé has promoted the sustainable development of local agriculture and farming communities in Shuangcheng through the company and farmers. Nestlé has been providing various training and technical assistance to dairy farmers in Shuangcheng.

Nestlé’s investment and cooperation in Shuangcheng have realized the corporate philosophy of creating shared value and, through cooperation with various research institutions, has provided more development opportunities for society and effectively promoted large-scale benefits and sustainable development with local farming and animal husbandry. In the future, whether it is out of the purpose of localized production or honoring Nestlé’s philosophy of Creating Shared Value, Nestlé will continue to root in Shuangcheng and China, and grow together with Chinese consumers.

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