Supplying Nestlé

Karen Blackwell
Manager, Supplier Diversity and Development
Nestlé North America Procurement


As the Manager of Supplier Diversity for Nestlé North America Procurement, I am proud to provide supplier diversity leadership to all of the Nestlé operating companies in the United States. We are committed to the development of meaningful and mutually beneficial business relationships with diverse suppliers and recognize the value these relationships add to our Company. We strive to exceed our diversity targets and to provide an environment where all suppliers, including those that meet the requirements of our Supplier Diversity program, are provided with all the information they need.

Nestlé in the United States is committed to establishing and growing successful business relationships with qualified and certified diverse suppliers that reflect the gender, cultural, and ethnic diversity of the consumers we serve. Our sourcing environment includes small businesses that are women-, minority-, and veteran owned. For example, in 2016, we paid $2.3 billion to 7,264 small, minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses and helped sustain jobs across the country. Our strategy for engaging the best of these suppliers revolves around continual outreach and education, cultivating relationships, and inclusion of in-country events. We partner with trade associations and nonprofits that provide solutions to traditional barriers to diverse suppliers’ success, such as limited access to capital, information, or infrastructure.

Having a Supplier Diversity Program makes good business sense. We are investing in the future of our company and in the communities in which we live and work. We thank you for your support in this mission.

The Case for Supplier Diversity

The U.S. population is expected to reach the 400 million by 2051. By 2020 more than half of the nation’s children are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group. The U.S. population as a whole is expected to follow a similar trend, becoming majority-minority in 2044. Also by 2030 all baby boomers will have reached age 65 or older and one-in-five Americans will be 65 or older.

These trends are not limited to the general public since we see corollary developments in the business community as the population diversifies and ages. To assess these changes the U.S. Census Department surveys the business community every five years Business Owners and has documented the increasingly diverse U.S. business ownership which mirrors the diversity trends of our population. The next survey will be conducted in 2017.

The following highlights from the 2012 survey support Nestlé’s Commitment to Supplier Diversity:

  • In 2012, minority-owned firms numbered 8+ million, an increase of 45.5 percent. These businesses generated $1.4 trillion in receipts which represented an increase of 35 percent from 2007.
  • In 2012, women owned 9.9+ million businesses and accounted for 36 percent of all businesses nationwide. These firms generated $1.4+ trillion in receipts.
  • A study by the Small Business Administration stated that small business continue to be responsible for more than 65% of the jobs annually created in the private sector.
  • In 2012, there were 2.5 million self-reported veteran-owned businesses and they comprised 9.1 percent of all U.S. firms.

A strong Supplier Diversity Program provides Nestlé with:

  • A pool of qualified suppliers that understand and support Nestlé’s commitment to excellence
  • A pool of qualified suppliers that are directly aligned with underrepresented and emerging communities and can promote positive relationships with our customers
  • Better quality goods and services at a lower price as a result of increased competition and an extended supply base
  • Access to new capabilities and innovations
  • A competitive advantage as we seek government contracts, and assurance that we are in compliance with the diversity expectations of our public sector contracts.

Supplier diversity relationships are unique in that they truly benefit both parties. The diverse suppliers that we do business with are also our customers. Small, minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses tend to hire diverse employees and in supporting these businesses, we support a growing segment of our consumer community and gain their loyalty. And by retaining qualified, diverse suppliers, we gain a distinct competitive advantage that can significantly impact our bottom line.

Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity

In addition to implementing a successful Supplier Diversity Program,  North America Procurement is committed to implementing a Strategic Sourcing Initiative. Together, these two programs ensure a winning purchasing strategy.

What is Strategic Sourcing?

Strategic sourcing means just that—we source all of our products strategically. North America Procurement is responsible for selecting only those suppliers who can successfully meet Nestlé’s regional and international needs. With strategic sourcing, Nestlé can develop a strong, flexible and competitive supply base, and pass those improvements on to the customer. Supplier diversity is an extremely important component of our search to find those suppliers who can best meet Nestlé’s needs.

The North America Procurement is part of the Supply Chain Division and its Diversity Team supports the following operating companies:

  • Nestlé USA
  • Nestlé Nutrition
  • Nestlé Purina PetCare Company
  • Nestlé Waters North America
  • Nestlé Health Science
  • Nestlé Professional
  • Nestlé Skin Health
  • Nespresso

The Purchasing Division buys services and products in the following categories based upon a global or In-Market strategy:

  • Packaging
  • Ingredients
  • Raw Materials
  • Capital/Construction and Engineering
  • Maintenance, Repair Services and Operations
  • Legal and Real Estate
  • Human Resources, Security Services and Office Products
  • Telecommunications and IT
  • Marketing, Printing and Promotions.

The Nestlé North America Procurement Diversity Team

Our Procurement leadership encourages the inclusion of diverse suppliers in sourcing events. When Diverse Suppliers are successful, this process increases our diversity spend and assists in the development of diverse suppliers that support Nestlé's business model.

“We believe that diverse companies and their talent and ideas are crucial to a successful innovation effort. They tie us more closely to our customers and help us better understand their wants and needs, they bring an entrepreneurial spirit to the job and they use existing resources in new and creative ways. We remain committed to developing relationships with qualified suppliers who understand and support Nestlé’s commitment to excellence and innovation, and to delivering value through creative solutions, best-in-class practices and sound business strategies.”
Kevin Petrie
Chief Supply Chain Officer
North America Procurement

Becoming A Nestlé Supplier

We highly recommend that you visit our various Nestlé Web sites to become familiar with our brands and products. This can help you determine how your company can supply Nestlé’s needs. If you are interested in becoming a Nestlé supplier, please register here.

The following organizations are useful resources for certification and other information:

Contact Info
Supplier Diversity Program
North America Procurement
800 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91203
Phone: 818-549-6000
Fax: 818-553-3547