Nestlé continues to expand plant-based dairy alternatives portfolio

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The company's latest launch is its first fully pea-based beverage under the Nesfit brand in Brazil. Pic: Nestlé
The company's latest launch is its first fully pea-based beverage under the Nesfit brand in Brazil. Pic: Nestlé

Related tags Nestlé plant-based Dairy alternatives

Nestlé said it is developing a wide range of plant-based dairy alternatives that are nutritious, great-tasting and have a favorable environmental footprint.

The plant-based and lactose-free products are suitable for consumers with lactose intolerance or those following a dairy-free or vegan diet.

The company recently launched its first fully pea-based beverage under its Nesfit brand in Brazil.

"Peas are one of the most environmentally friendly sources of plant-based protein, but when used alone, it can be challenging to turn them into a great-tasting beverage,"​ Swen Rabe, head of Nestlé's R&D Center in Konolfingen, Switzerland, said.

"By using our proprietary technologies, as well as our expertise in creating shelf-stable dairy products, we were able to develop a delicious pea-based beverage with a reduced sugar content when compared to similar products in the market."

Made from yellow peas, a 200 ml glass of Nesfit Sabor Natural contains as much protein (7g) and calcium as cow's milk, and is fortified with vitamins A and D, the company said.

Plant-based products made from pea protein is a key focus area, Nestlé added. Ninho Forti+, an oat- and pea-based beverage in a ready-to-drink carton with a paper straw was the first to launch in Brazil end of 2019. In January 2020, Nesquik GoodNes, an oat- and pea-based beverage with the Nesquik chocolate flavor and 40% less sugar compared to similar products in the category, was launched nationwide in the US.

Nestlé currently offers other products made from rice, oat, soy, coconut and almonds. Examples include non-dairy Häagen Dazs ice cream, Natural bliss coffee creamers in the US, Nesfit rice- and oat-based drinks in Brazil, a new vegan-friendly Milo in Australia and plant-based Nescafé cappuccinos and lattes in Europe and Oceania.

Nestlé will also launch Starbucks non-dairy creamers in the US in August, a vegan Carnation condensed milk alternative in the UK in September, as well as a range of non-dairy cheese to complement its existing plant-based burgers.

Globally, Nestlé has around 300 scientists, engineers and product developers in eight R&D Centers dedicated to the research and development of plant-based products. This represents almost 10% of all R&D employees. To complement its internal capabilities, the company also collaborates with researchers, suppliers, start-ups and other partners.

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