Nestlé SA inaugurates new R&D accelerator for sustainable dairy and plant-based dairy alternatives

SWITZERLAND – Nestlé SA has inaugurated a new research and development (R&D) accelerator in Konolfingen, Switzerland, to drive innovation and speed-to-market of sustainable dairy and plant-based dairy alternatives that will serve startups, students and scientists and help bring products from ideation to commercialization.

Nestlé R&D Konolfingen is an integral part of the Swiss innovation ecosystem. It is the company’s largest research and development center for dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives.

The R&D center develops new product concepts for Nestlé’s dairy and infant nutrition businesses before they are introduced to consumers around the world.

“Innovation in milk products and plant-based dairy alternatives is core to Nestle’s portfolio strategy, as well as our sustainability agenda,” said Mark Schneider, chief executive officer.

“As a company, we have set ambitious climate goals. This is part of our promise to develop products that are good for you and good for the planet.”

Mark Schneider – chief executive officer, Nestle

“As a company, we have set ambitious climate goals. This is part of our promise to develop products that are good for you and good for the planet.”

Through the accelerator, researchers will have access to Nestle’s expertise and equipment to facilitate the upscaling of products for a test launch in a retail environment, according to the company. The project is part of Nestle’s global R&D accelerator initiative that was launched in April 2019.

“Our goal is to provide startups, students and Nestle scientists with key resources to quickly explore new ideas through a six-month test and learn approach,” said Thomas Hauser, head of global product and technology development at Nestle.

“By tapping into our expertise in food science, food safety, regulatory, manufacturing processes, and packaging, they can rapidly upscale and test new products in real market conditions.”

The R&D Accelerator in Konolfingen features a fully equipped test kitchen, as well as a co-working office space. Internal, external and mixed teams will leverage Nestlé’s capabilities to bring novel ideas from concept to test shop in only six months.

They will have access to Nestlé expertise and key equipment such as small to medium scale production equipment to facilitate the rapid upscaling of products for a test launch in a retail environment.

The R&D Accelerator in Konolfingen is part of Nestlé’s global R&D Accelerator initiative which was first launched at Nestlé Research in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Nestlé Purina has introduced the first recyclable flexible pouch for its Felix wet pet food.

This new pouch addresses a key challenge of simplifying plastic structures in order to make them recyclable, without compromising on the functionalities of food-grade packaging.

Packaging made of polypropylene (PP) can be recycled in existing plastic recycling streams in the Netherlands where this product is being launched as a pilot program.

The pilot will take place from September 2020 for a year with the Netherlands’ largest retailer Albert Heijn.

“We want to contribute to creating a world where pets and people can thrive, and initiatives like this support our goal of offering food that is good for pets, and the planet,” Nestlé Purina Petcare EMENA CEO Bernard Meunier said.

“This latest innovation on Felix pouch is a significant step forward in our drive to deliver recyclable or reusable packaging on all of our products by 2025.”

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