Nestle, Swiss food giant, has announced that it will pour seven billion riyals (USD 1.8 billion) into Saudi Arabia over 10 years in a bid to strengthen its presence in the kingdom.
The announcement is likely to be a major boost to Riyadh as the kingdom pushes to attract greater foreign investment.
Nestle will build a new factory, due to open in 2025 that will produce infant nutrition products and ready-to-drink coffee for the Saudi, ct and North African markets, the company said.
It already has seven mineral water factories in Saudi Arabia.
The investment will create 3,500 direct and indirect jobs, Nestle said.
The Swiss company, famous for its flagship Nescafe and Nespresso brands, also produces soups and noodles under the Maggi brand, KitKat chocolates and Purina pet food. It currently employs 5,000 people in Saudi Arabia.
Recently, Nestlé also expanded its range of plant-based products with the launch of egg alternatives. In a world where one-third of all people are affected by some form of malnutrition, and where the pandemic and climate change are exacerbating poverty, Nestlé is focused on developing affordable foods and beverages that incorporate nutritious plant proteins to help people achieve adequate and balanced diets.
The product is currently being tested in Central America under the Malher brand in a limited number of stores before being further rolled out across more markets in Latin America.
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This new patented format for shelf-stable egg alternatives was developed by Nestlé R&D experts who leveraged the company’s know-how in the development of plant-based food alternatives such as the recently launched vegan alternative to eggs under the Garden Gourmet brand. R&D teams are also exploring novel solutions for affordable, shelf stable, protein blends that can be used as meat alternatives in certain geographies with a limited cold storage supply chain.