Ugly words can describe attractive ideas. Take “premiumisation”. Going upmarket is plumping up Nestlé’s growth. Limited-edition blends perk up coffee sales. Supplements to soothe anxious hounds boost pet food sales. Even the humble KitKat is being dressed up with a new “bespoke and handmade” line.

The rewards of the strategy pursued by boss Mark Schneider, in charge of the Swiss consumer products group since 2017, were evident on Thursday. Nestlé posted healthy organic sales growth of 3.7% for the first nine months of 2019, It also unveiled plans to return 20-billion Swiss francs ($20.2bn) to shareholders.

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