Nestle said still-weak emerging market demand and falling prices for its products in Europe slowed underlying sales growth to 4.4 percent in the first nine months of the year from 6.1 percent in the year-ago period.
Sales at the world's biggest food group rose to 68.4 billion Swiss francs ($74.68 billion), lagging a 69.3 billion francs estimate in a Reuters poll.
Analysts had expected underlying sales growth to accelerate to 4.5 percent from 4.1 percent in the first half.
Nestle and peers Danone and Unilever are grappling with sluggish consumer demand in austerity-hit Europe and a marked slowdown in many emerging markets, where double-digit growth rates seem to be a distant memory.
Nestle's sales growth in Asia, Oceania and Africa accelerated slightly to 6.9 percent from 6.3 percent in the first half, while growth in Europe rose to 0.9 percent from 0.6 percent in the first half with still negative pricing.