Shelley Martin, president of Nestlé Canada, speaks with Grocery Business magazine about the study on multinationals
Ninety-four per cent of Canadians believe it is possible for large, global companies to act in the local interest, and most believe they often do so. However, 64 per cent think that multinationals are too focused on the bottom line, versus only eight per cent who believe this to be true of smaller, local businesses.
These are some of the findings of a first-of-a-kind study from Nestlé Canada, entitled “Glocal: Confronting the Global–Local Dilemma”, that examines Canadians’ perceptions toward multinational organizations.
For Nestlé Canada, being a “glocal” company means having the size, scale and global expertise to offer Canadians the best products and services from around the world, but delivering them with local people, in local factories, with local ingredients, and in a responsible, sustainable manner.
That means “listening to the consumers that are involved in the communities across the country, listening to our employees that we have across the country, and listening for what’s happening in these local areas, particularly where we have offices or factories,” says Shelley Martin, president and CEO, Nestlé Canada, in an exclusive interview with Grocery Business magazine.
Interestingly, Millennials are more likely to support multinationals than their baby-boomer counterparts are, the study revealed. This finding may stem from Millennials’ belief that sometimes bigger companies can produce product at a different value than some of the smaller, local companies, which appeals to that cohort’s often challenging financial situation. Millennials may also be engaging more with global brands on social media, Martin speculates.
While the study’s data seem to indicate that multinationals are headed in the right direction, much still needs to be done to align perceptions with the reality that these companies are, in fact, contributing in a significant way to their communities, says Martin. “We must be more proactive in our approach, communicating clearly on our purpose and values,” she adds.