SWITZERLAND – Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, is switching to plant-based food and beverages not only from a health perspective but also from an environmental perspective.
The Vevey, Switzerland headquartered company has positioned itself as an environment champion and has set itself an audacious goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 as part of efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C.
The company is growing a portfolio of plant-based alternatives in dairy from pea, oat, soy, coconut, and more, with Wunda being their new pea-based milk alternative.
Nestle is aiming to increase its plant-based product range and is already reformulating recipes for products like Kit Kat, Milo, and Nescafe coffee, to create dairy-free versions.
Nestle has also introduced the dairy alternative which is coconut or oat milk based to boost the choices of the vegan society’s indulging in dairy beverages.
In February, Nestle purchased a majority stake in Orgain, a leader in plant-based nutrition, from founder Dr. Andrew Abraham and Butterfly Equity to complement its existing portfolio of products.
The deal is slightly accretive to Nestlé’s organic growth, while slightly dilutive to the Group’s underlying trading profit margin in 2022. The agreement includes the option for Nestlé Health Science to fully acquire Orgain in 2024.
Nestles Sales of vegetarian and plant-based food grew at a double-digit rate, reaching around CHF 800 million (US$868.4 million) while dairy saw mid-single-digit growth, based on strong demand for premium and fortified milk, coffee creamers, and ice cream.
Within the past two years, the sale of plant-based foods in the U.S. has grown by 27%, according to their website and up to 40% of consumers are already moving to a diet with less or even zero animal products.
The market is soaring because more and more people are embracing a plant-based menu as part of a ‘flexitarian’ diet and also it is low in saturated fat and calories than cow’s milk.
Anna Benny, technical account manager at The Kellogg Rural Leadership Scheme, noted that whole milk powder is an ingredient used in the production of Kit Kats, yogurt drinks, sports drinks, and whey sold at the gym, and is also an ingredient in many pharmaceutical products.
In a recent paper, she commented that the dairy industry is ripe for disruption because it is over-reliant on whole milk powder and could be replaced by proteins produced from precision fermentation, which is cheaper and more climate-friendly.
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