SWITZERLAND- Swiss multinational food and drink processing conglomerate Nestlé has entered into a new partnership with Netherlands-based Corbion for the development of microalgae ingredients. 

 Corbion expanded its reach to include microalgae with the acquisition of Terravia, formerly Solazyme, in 2017 and has already demonstrated the value of algae in several high-value food and feed applications. 

The new partnership will create a range of microalgae ingredients that will not only be used in Nestlé’s internal portfolio but also be made available for commercial sale. 

 “We are actively exploring the use of microalgae as an alternative protein and micronutrient source for exciting plant-based products,” Stefan Palzer, CRO for Nestlé said in a statement.  

“Through the partnership with Corbion, we will be able to use great-tasting, nutritious microalgae-based ingredients to innovate across our different product categories.” 

Microalgae provide a sustainable and input-free source of protein, fat and essential nutrients, making them a potential game-changer for vegan food products. 

Their incorporation into Nestle’s plant-based category could give the company an edge in a market that is expected to reach 77.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2025, according to data from Statista. 

For 2022, the model expects a market worth 44.2 billion U.S. dollars and further projects that by 2030 the market will have more than doubled. 

Nestlé currently enjoys a market presence across a range of plant-based areas, including beverages, meat alternatives, and ready meals. 

In February, Nestlé shared its 2021 earnings report where the Plant-based foods category stood out as a leading growth category, generating US$860 million in sales.  

Nestlé’s plant-based tuna offering, Vuna and the Awesome Burger drove many of the sales in this segment. 

Investment into other vegan brands has further tightened Nestlé’s grasp. In November last year, it backed California’s Sundial Foods, a startup known for its ultra-realistic chicken wing analogues.  

Nestlé contributed to a US$4 million seed round that was completed to bring products to the U.S. market by spring this year. 

Nestle resumes Ukrainian operations on humanitarian grounds 

Elsewhere, Nestle has reopened its factories and warehouses in central and western Ukraine in a bid to ensure essential food and drink deliveries in the war-torn country. 

The Swiss-based group, which has three factories and around 5,000 employees in Ukraine, temporarily shut operations in February after Russian forces invaded in the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two. 

“We are trying to reopen parts of the supply chain and distribute to retailers where it is safe to do so,” a Nestle spokesperson told Reuters. 

Nestle joins Lactalis which has resumed output at a factory in Ukraine where production had been halted amid nearby fighting. 

A spokesperson for the French group said its facility in Nikolaev in the south of the country “was able to operate again but at a slower pace”. 

The world’s largest dairy company also noted that the reopening was meant to ensure that Ukranian citizen get access to essential food even as the war rages on. 

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