Nestlé is launching plant-based substitutes for egg and shrimp that closely mirror the taste, nutrition and performance of the originals, the food group said on Wednesday, extending its range in the fast growing vegan market.
The egg substitute, branded Garden Gourmet vEGGie in Europe, contains soy protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It can be scrambled or used in a frittata or as an ingredient in cakes and cookies, Nestlé said.
The vegan shrimp, called Vrimp, follows the launch of its tuna substitute last year.
Double-Digit Sales Growth
"It's also not limited to one particular age group or one particular demographic group," he told reporters in London. "This is really getting mainstream and broad based."
Last year, Nestlé's sales from plant-based products were just 200 million Swiss francs ($216 million), a tiny fraction of its total sales of 84 billion francs.
Chief technology officer Stefan Palzer said Nestlé had developed the new products in less than a year using its plant science expertise to engineer pea protein that did not have the taste of the legume.
"We want to be as close as possible to the animal-based version, because then it's much easier for people to switch to these type of products," he said in an interview.
Initial Limited Launch
The two products will initially have a limited launch in some European markets, including Switzerland.
"We're the first ones to say that we did not invent the plant based hamburger, we also didn't invent plant based chicken," Schneider said.
"But I'm also obviously proud to say ours right now will beat everyone around the world when it comes to taste, mouth appeal and especially nutrition."
Advantage Over Rivals
Palzer said Nestlé's global reach and range of brands also gave it an advantage over high-profile rivals.
"We have a broad portfolio of food and beverage brands, which these companies don't have," he said.
Nestlé already launched vegan products across its other categories, including a vegan KitKat.
"There's a super big opportunity for us to make line extensions is all these loved brands," Palzer said.
News by Reuters edited by Donna Ahern, Checkout. For more A Brands stories click here. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.