In July 2016, Nestlé Italy launched its Perugina Nero products with the UTZ label. Perugina Nero is the premium dark chocolate offer in the Perugina range. With a number of different varieties available, the launch is one step further on Nestlé’s path towards sustainable cocoa in Italy. We talked to Federico Giorgio Marrano, Confectionery Marketing Manager at Nestlé Italy about the launch and what it means for them.

UTZ: Why did you choose to launch the Nero Perugina products with the UTZ logo?

Federico Giorgio Marrano: “Perugina is an historical brand and a symbol of Italian excellence, which, since 1907 has been offering the guarantee of high quality cocoa & new chocolate experiences, combining tradition and creativity. Perugina is strongly committed towards environmental and social sustainability; these are at the center of the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, which brings together Nestlé’s activity to promote a sustainable cocoa supply under one banner and aims to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and the quality of their products. Nero Perugina is our premium brand in the dark chocolate segment, so with all this in mind it seemed a fitting brand to start with on this journey to sustainability.”

Perugina Nero packshot Nestlé ItalyHow did you communicate the launch?

“We talk about the launch of the Nero Perugina products with the UTZ logo and Nestlé commitments in the Cocoa Plan on the Perugina website. The website introduces a new language for the Perugina brand, bringing to life the three pillars of the Cocoa Plan: Better Farming, Better Lives, and Better Cocoa. We also chose to communicate this message on selected products (back of pack) to help engage the consumer on the topic of sustainability and what that means.”

What role does sustainable sourcing play in your business?

“We strongly believe that for a company to prosper over the long term and create value for stakeholders, it must create value for the society at the same time. At Nestlé we call this Creating Shared Value: an approach we apply to the business as the whole. As a consequence, we continue to actively manage our commitments to environmental and social sustainability, necessary for operating our factories and for the sustainable growth and development of the communities and countries where we are. This is the reason why the sustainable sourcing is extremely important to us and the Nestlé Cocoa Plan a very good example of our commitment in this area.”

How do you think Italian consumers perceive sustainability? What does it mean to them?

“Sustainability is an increasingly important theme for Italian consumers, together with the quality of food products. Italians show awareness and informed attitudes of consumption and purchase. For this reason, we see it as our responsibility as a food company to help consumers to make informed choices, providing appropriate information also on the raw material used.”

We are facing a very significant change about our culture and the attention for sustainability is becoming one of the load-bearing values for all consumers.

How does working with UTZ help you achieve your sustainability goals?

“Nestlé has been working with UTZ on an international level for many years already. From the Italian market perspective we find it an important collaboration due to the strong overlap with the standards set by the Nestlé Cocoa Plan, and also because it adds credibility to our efforts.  Perugina Nero aims to be the captain brand of premium dark chocolate representing the ‘goodness’ of both superior quality of products and great attention on social responsibility.”

What’s next for Nestlé Italy in terms of Nestlé Perugina office building in Italysustainability?

“We have some exciting plans for 2017 including new product launches within the Perugina range and additional communication to further our journey towards sustainable cocoa in Italy. We have had a positive reaction so far since the launch of UTZ certified Nero Perugina and we are looking forward to building on this momentum. “