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Nestlé Canada partners with CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals

Two-Year Partnership Will Support Black Youth with Career Training and Skills Development

Nestlé Canada is teaming up with CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, a community-based organization dedicated to addressing economic and social barriers affecting Black youth.

In turn, Nestlé will financially support the Kitchen Masters Program and introduce Nestlé Professional’s Young Culinary Talents Program (YOCUTA) for Black youth in Toronto’s priority investment neighbourhoods.

“At Nestlé Canada, we are committed to breaking down barriers and confronting intolerance and inequity and our efforts to build an inclusive culture at work and in our communities is continuous,” Jeff Hamilton, CEO of Nestlé Canada, said in a release. “We understand the importance of providing economic opportunities for our youth and are determined to help them fulfill their ambitions, especially during these turbulent times. We are proud to be partnering with CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals – a leading community-based organization, to support Black youth with new skills and training opportunities to build their employability skills and support their successful transition into the hospitality and food service industry.”

The CEE Centre for Young Black Professional’s Kitchen Masters program is a 16-week program that equips Black youth between the ages of 18 to 30 years old, who are currently out of school and out of work, with relevant skills and training needed to develop a career out of their love for food. This career training and development program offers youth the chance to compete in cooking challenges, have one-on-one coaching sessions and gain vital experience through placements and paid internships.

In addition to the financial contribution to the Kitchen Masters Program, Nestlé Professional, Nestlé’s Food Service division, will offer an additional training program focusing on the culinary industry, called YOCUTA, Young Culinary Talents. YOCUTA aims to develop young chefs, by providing students with all the necessary tools to pursue a successful career in the culinary industry.

“We are deeply honoured and excited about the support we are receiving from Nestlé Canada,” said Agapi Gessesse, executive director of CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals. “It is partnerships like these where we can continue to see a tangible difference in the lives of young black people in Toronto. Our Kitchen Masters program has been a proven model that has produced many job opportunities for young black youth in Toronto and we are excited at the possibility of working with Nestlé to continue to offer these opportunities during these difficult times.”

The YOCUTA program falls under Nestlé’s broader Nestlé Needs Youth Initiative, whose ambition is to help ten million young people worldwide access economic opportunities by 2030.

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Chill zone: What’s new in frozen treats?

New products and a taste for nostalgia make frozen treats cooler than ever

Canadians are no longer waiting until summer to indulge in frozen treats. They have evolved into an all-season buy for consumers and Canadian c-stores are reaping the benefits. 

According to C-store IQ: National Shopper Study, frozen drinks/beverages are in the top 10 c-store purchases with 19% of consumers buying one within the last month, while 16% of shoppers bought ice cream. 

Innovative products, with fresh marketing spins attached, have helped reposition frozen treats an any-time snacks—some touting health attributes like high protein, low carb, dairy-free and reduced calories to add to their appeal. While diet trends—paleo, keto and plant-based—are influencing product development, the classic tried-and-true versions still reign supreme, according to Larry Watmough, business development manager, Core-Mark Canada. The company works with Chapman’s Ice Cream and helped introduce the brand into convenience stores in 2015. 

“I think there will always be trendy diets—so many have come and gone,” he says. While the market is continuing to see new entries, like fruit-based variations, they make up a small portion of the market. Consumers will try new products, but often come back to what they know, Watmough notes. 

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 2.00.45 PMThe top seller for Chapman’s remains its traditional vanilla ice cream sandwich (120 mL). The company will build on that success with a new Yukon chocolate fudge sandwich and a new chocolate ball-topped cone. “I expect they’ll do well,” he says. “Ice cream is one of the highest impulse items in the store and has one of the highest profit margins.” To capitalize on that, Chapman’s ensures their treats get noticed, securing coveted spaces near cash registers and in-store branded freezers.

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 2.00.56 PMCalgary-based Mini Melts has won fans with its tiny spheres of flash-frozen ice cream and sorbet to customers available from its robotic vending machines or grab ’n go pre-packaged cups. “It’s completely different from the regular frozen treat products sold at convenience stores,” says Dave Mah, sales manager. “Mini Melts are sold across Canada and are extremely popular with all age demographics. They’re such a good fit for c-stores because of the profit and revenue they generate.”

Mini Melts offers retailers point-of-sale materials and the use of a dedicated freezer that keeps the product at the –30C storage temperature it requires. Enticing flavours are also part of the picture, like cotton candy, fruit punch and cookie dough ice cream. With Big, its newest variation (bite-sized sorbet made with real fruit juices and natural ingredients), there’s grape and soda, cola and energy drink, pineapple and orange options.

Screen Shot 2020-05-05 at 2.01.06 PMMeanwhile, Nestlé is poised to shake up the frozen treat sector with new entries with familiar names. From Haagen-Dazs Exträaz range expect new Strawberry Cheesecake Stick Bars and Salted Caramel Brownie Stick Bars. Canada’s favourite chocolate bar, Kit Kat, will turn into a premium single-serve treat—a combination of chocolate, wafers and ice cream. The popular Drumstick brand will add a new first-to-market innovation—non-dairy vegan Vanilla Chocolate Swirl cones with caramel, dark chocolate and nuts.

“Consumers continue to look for a variety of options to address their lifestyle and dietary choices,” says Lisa Beausoleil, marketing lead ice cream, Nestlé. “As with many food products, we are seeing consumers wanting more nutritious and plant-based options. They are looking for vegan, non-dairy and gluten-free options that taste great.”

It’s clear Canadians love affair with frozen treats is going strong, thanks to classic confections, new novelties and an emotional connection to them. As Beausoleil explains, “These treats connect customers to fond memories of their childhood and time spent with friends and family.” 


Nestlé Canada giving temporary raises to factory and distribution centre workers

UnknownNestlé Canada is giving a temporary raise to its employees in its factories and distribution centres across the country as deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The food producer says the workers will receive a temporary increase of $3 per hour, retroactive to March 16. Salaried employees in the factories who cannot work from home will also receive a bonus.

Nestlé’s brands include Lean Cuisine, Boost, Nesquik, Haagen-Dazs, Kit Kat and Nespresso.

It says in the event of any temporary shutdown related to COVID-19, up to eight weeks’ full pay will be provided for all hourly and salaried staff affected.

Workers in its retail operations which have been temporarily closed will also receive full pay up to eight weeks.

Nestlé has 3,200 employees in approximately 18 locations across Canada.


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