The world's biggest food company, Nestle, wants to tune up your guts, blending snacks, drinks and medicine. Stuart McDill reports.
The world's largest food company looking to offset slowing sales of processed foods... Making a big bet in the field of health and nutritional science. (SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CONSUMER GOODS SPECIALIST, MARTINNE GELLER, SAYING: "Nestle's trying to forge a new path at the intersection between food and pharmaceuticals, what some people used to call neutriceuticals, so trying to bring its expertise in food to boost wellness and health." The industry waking up to the benefits of the good and bad microbes that live in our guts - Not new to yoghurt... but now fodder in other recipes. Nestle's next boss the clearest sign of a change of direction. Ulf Mark Schneider takes over in January, coming from the healthcare sector, NOT food. He's expected to continue acquisitions of healthy food and medical companies - while not dropping the Kitkats. (SOUNDBITE) REUTERS CONSUMER GOODS SPECIALIST, MARTINNE GELLER, SAYING: "Whether it's drinks for people that have certain conditions, certain shakes that maybe help manage obesity or diabetes so it's certain foods that are good for you. It's not moving away from it's candy business but it's not on that side." Nestle estimates annual sales from its health science unit will grow from 2 billion dollars to 10 billion. But it hasn't said by when. And there is concern that a recent spate of acquisitions aren't paying off. Investors hoping that Nestle's latest health kick isn't a bitter pill.