Nestle Canada Wants Options? Let\'s Send Them Options.

Posted on: Tue, 05/08/2001 - 4:37am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

pA Nestle representative spoke to one of the members of this board, and advised her that instead of sending e-mails advising them of our dissatisfaction we should try sending them options for avoiding the conversion of their peanut-free plant into one for manufacturing peanut products./p
pSince Nestle knows we are unhappy with the decision (they received over 1000 phone calls by Friday evening, the day after Nestle's announcement was made), let's give them the options they have./p
pThe only option they have completely dismissed is upgrading their facility to make it safe to manufacture both peanut-free and peanut products in the same plant. They say their equipment could not be made safe and therefore all products would have a "may contain peanuts" warning. We don't know what other options they have considered, so please post some./p
pI will send this thread to Nestle via e-mail and I will print it out to send via regular mail. I will also cc the anaphylaxis organizations and any other organizations you think should receive these options. I intend to find a more specific e-mail address than the one provided by Nestle for consumer feedback, since we don't want this idea to get lost in the shuffle. /p
pAnyone wishing to contact Nestle on their own with options is welcome to do so. I will post contact information for you as soon as I find it./p
pI'm forwarding this information to Nestle because I don't want them to refuse to change their minds on this decision due to lack of constructive feed back from the nut-allergic community. Just trying to cover all the bases./p
pDon't worry about posting about an idea that you think may not work, or that you think they've already come up with. It's up to them to dismiss or further investigate any options, I just want them to have our input on this issue./p
pMy idea is: Keep the peanut-free plant and start exporting Smarties, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Aero Bar and Mirage to the United States. Promote these products as safe for the nut and peanut allergic population and reap the benefits. There is a need for more safe candy bar variety in the U.S., other than regular Hershey bars, and Nestle could fill this niche./p

Posted on: Thu, 05/10/2001 - 11:05pm
brendaj's picture
Joined: 08/24/2000 - 09:00

They could also consider chocolate bar fundraising campaigns that many schools have and the number of peanut free school/ organizations that could use their products for this. I know that relatives and I have not bought the bars because they were not nutfree. This seems like a perfect market for them.

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2001 - 12:21am
JoannaG's picture
Joined: 04/24/2001 - 09:00

The key thing for me would be for Nestle to preserve a peanut/nut-free production environment i.e. maintain the status quo - as I understand it, they acquired the present facility from Rowntree some years ago and have capitalized in a modest way on the fact that it happens to be peanut/nut-free.
If they went beyond status quo (I'm really dreaming now!) they could realize the potential of the so-called allergy market and decide to corner it. Why not provide peanut/nut-free product for the entire N. American market? How about developing new products? How about making "holiday" Smarties in a peanut/nut-free environment?
I heard that the Toronto facility is antiquated. Well, it could be refurbished. It could be expanded. It could be rebuilt. If could be used for other products and a peanut/nut-free environment could be re-established elsewhere in better conditions.
Nestle claims to want "flexibility to meet growing consumer demand for peanut/nut chocolate products". I don't much care how they do that EXCEPT for the fact that their current plan (which they no doubt see as the most cost-effective) includes sacrificing a loyal clientele which is much larger than they appear to have calculated, and increasing in size.
Nestle is already a very profitable company. If they wanted to, they could have it both ways. Maybe it would cost them a few more $$ than they're currently counting on spending, but I think it's justifiable.
[This message has been edited by JoannaG (edited May 11, 2001).]

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2001 - 2:38am
EILEEN's picture
Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

I agree with the terrific post by JoannaG, maintain the pn/tn plant.

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2001 - 3:44am
Wilton's picture
Joined: 12/15/2000 - 09:00

Dear Nestle,
Many media outlets have carried stories recently about:
1) How peanut/nut proteins get passed to babies through breast milk;
2) How peanut/nut proteins can cause severe (fatal) allergic reactions and how these allegies apparently arise in part from exposure to peanut/nut proteins in infancy;
3) How many products, due to manufacturing practices, carry undeclared peanut/nut proteins, just adding to the problems in (1) and (2).
Given this media attention and the fact that peanuts/nuts pose a demonstrably greater health risk to humans than mad cow, hoof and mouth, and StarLink corn combined, don't you think there is the slightest market opportunity in being able to label some products "Guaranteed Peanut/Nut Free!"?
Remember, you're not marketing to the child suffering from peanut allergy, you're marketing to that child's friends, relatives, classmates, school board members, camp counselors, and to nutritionists, expecting mothers, their friends, and so on...
Consider carefully before you throw away the chance to lead your competitors into a new and potentially huge market.

Posted on: Fri, 05/11/2001 - 3:00pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Cayley's Mom and JoannaG., I agree with you both. I think Nestle could be reminded that they have a huge market waiting for them in the U.S. We could even send them the Smarties thread from under Main Discussion that I co-ordinated to see how many Americans wanted Smarties alone, never mind the other "safe" chocolate bars.
The only thing I could think of and it's probably why I didn't post until now. When I called Nabisco re their Christie's plant, the person I spoke with there said that there was a concrete barrier between the part of the plant that contains peanuts/nuts and the part that doesn't. Now, I actually haven't physically seen the plant on Lakeshore Blvd. West so he could be feeding me a line of whatever. But, somehow he did seem quite sincere and clear about this. That this was the reason Christie's was able to continue to provide "safe" products for us.
I heard from the Nestle CSR that the plant was antiquated and not suitable for updating.
But I'm wondering if it would be possible to divide the plant with a concrete barrier as supposedly has been done at Christie's.
Also, this is not a solution at all, but I really have the need to know what chocolate bars they will be producing now, peanut/nut laden that has made them think that this decision is the correct one for them.
The concrete barrier thing is the only thing I could think of.
I think the exportation of their "safe" chocolates is excellent and we have proof positive here that we have been doing this for nearly a year now!
Best wishes! [img][/img]

Posted on: Mon, 05/14/2001 - 2:18am
EILEEN's picture
Joined: 04/06/1999 - 09:00

Nestl De Smarties, Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp And Mirage Chocolates Will Continue To Be Manufactured In Peanut/Nut-Free Environment -- Company responds to consumer requests - Nestl De remains only national confectionery company offering a variety of popular chocolate brands produced in a peanut/nut-free environment - Company to pursue other approaches to satisfy demand for peanut/nut chocolate products
Story Filed: Monday, May 14, 2001 11:30 AM EST
TORONTO, May 14, 2001 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Nestl De Canada is pleased to announce that it will continue to manufacture Nestl De Smarties, Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp and Mirage in a peanut/nut-free environment. This reverses a previously announced plan to cease production of these products in a peanut/nut-free environment as of January of next year.
"We have been truly overwhelmed by the emotional chord that our original decision struck with consumers," said Graham Lute, Senior Vice-President, Nestl De Canada. "Since our announcement three weeks ago, we have received several thousand letters, phone calls and email messages from Canadians, with and without peanut/nut allergies, asking us to reconsider our position. We've read every email and letter. We've listened to consumers and moved quickly to reverse our original decision. We will pursue other options to satisfy the growing segment of consumers who want peanut/nut chocolate products."
"We realize that consumers need choice and we have tried to be both responsive and responsible in meeting this need," Lute added. "With this decision, we remain the only national confectionery company to provide a variety of popular chocolate products manufactured in a peanut/nut-free environment."
"Peanut and nut allergies are a growing concern," said Dr. Susan Wasserman, Allergist, Clinical Immunologist, McMaster University, The Firestone Chest and Allergy Unit at St. Joseph's Hospital, Hamilton. "People with this type of condition face limited choices. So do teachers, parents and friends living or working with allergic individuals. They have to be careful too. I commend Nestl De's efforts to provide allergic adults and children with viable options."
The company's decision is effective immediately. However, because Nestl De's original intent was to allow peanut/nuts into its factory by January of next year, it had to begin changing its packaging much sooner, to give consumers advance notice. As a result, an allergy alert will temporarily appear on a limited number of product packages now in stores. The company is in the process of producing new packaging.
"We want to reassure Canadians that these products were manufactured in a peanut/nut-free environment and do not contain peanuts or nuts," said Lute. "We invite consumers to visit our web site at [url=""][/url] or call us at 1-800-387-4636, if they have any concerns or questions."
To ensure that Nestl De Smarties, Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp and Mirage are manufactured in an environment free of peanuts and nuts, Nestl De Canada follows rigorous quality standards.
Nestl De Canada Inc. is known for brands such as KitKat, Stouffer's, Nescaf De, Legend and Parlour ice cream, Carnation and Friskies. The company employs over 4,000 across Canada and has sales in excess of $1.6 billion annually; making it one of the largest value-added food manufacturing companies in Canada.

Posted on: Mon, 05/14/2001 - 2:53am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

First of all - thanks to everyone for your fantastic ideas. Wilton - I loved your post, I thought it brought up some very important issues, and please use this train of thought in future e-mails to other manufacturers. Getting a large company to promote themselves to the nut-allergic population bears scrutiny, to be sure. Kudos to you for this idea.
WOW!!!! Nestle listened to us!! I am positively in shock. I guess I'll have to phone DH right away to let him know he can drink Nestle's "Nestea" (iced tea) again, LOL!
Awesome work everyone. [img][/img]

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