Sweet Earth’s history within Nestle professional – when did Nestle start talking about adding vegan products, and why?
At Nestle, we strive to provide more delicious, nutritious, and sustainable food and beverage items for consumers. The vegan portfolio of Nestle you see today is the result of many years of experience and expertise in plant proteins. It’s part of our commitment to bring great products to everyone, from lifelong vegans and vegetarians to people simply looking to eat more plant-based foods.
How has the texture, taste, and look of vegan meat evolved over time to what it is today?
Our portfolio meets the demands of flavour-forward consumers who want vegan and plant-based foods, especially millennials who want convenient, real food and flexitarians who want more vegetables and plant-based proteins in their diet.
Now with the rise of flexitarian diets, it is becoming more important that especially the taste and texture of plant-based products mimic meat or chicken. At Nestle, we have an extensive R&D team that is constantly working on improving our plant-based offerings using the latest technologies, to meet consumer needs.
Why was it important for you to bring meat-free options to the vegan market?
As Nestle is the food and beverage leader globally, we feel responsible for our future generations to supply sustainable and enough food for everyone.
We believe this is not a trend but a lifestyle change and the future of food. There are many players in the market for a long-time and it is always exciting for consumers when new brands launch in this new category, it helps to diversify and bring in new products giving them more choices.
A lot of people ask why vegans need products that mimic meat if they are anti-meat – how would you address this question?
This is a very valid point which is why vegans are not our core target audience, we understand that they have made this choice for personal reasons and may not want to eat something that mimics the taste of meat. Instead, we are targeting flexitarians; consumers who are looking to reduce their intake of meat for health or environmental purposes. With this, they can still enjoy the taste and texture but without guilt.
Where do you see veganism going in the future?
Veganism is the future. You can already see the impact it has in many categories such as seafood, confectionery, and dairy drinks even among personal care products there is a vegan option for almost anything now.
What is Sweet Earth‘s objective with its plant-based products?
Our objective is simple: provide plant-based offerings that are good for the planet, and good for the body.
What are the challenges of making vegan meats?
The main challenge I would say is getting the texture spot on without the use of artificial ingredients.
What are the biggest misconceptions about veganism?
Boring bland food. I can assure you that with SWEET EARTH®, there is nothing tasteless about our products!
Can you talk about the product range you have, and which are most popular and why?
Our range currently consists of the AWESOME™ Burger, Nuggets, Schnitzel, and Chargrilled pieces. The AWESOME™ Patty is our most popular product purely because of how perfectly it mimics a beef patty, it is also a super versatile product that can be used as a substitute for minced meat and made into dishes like pasta, meatballs, stews, etc. Try it for yourself!