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Nestlé Champions Plant-Based Food With Investment In Asia

Nestlé has reinforced its commitment to plant-based food with the inauguration of a production site for plant-based burgers, schnitzels, mince, and more in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

The new site has the capacity to produce 8,000 tonnes of plant-based food a year, and will supply both the food service industry and retail under the new Harvest Gourmet brand.

Food Revolution

Nestlé plans on playing an important role in the 'quiet food revolution' happening in Asia.

More people are choosing plant-based options for a healthier lifestyle with less impact on the planet, with over 40% of respondents in a GlobalData survey in countries across the Asia and Oceania region saying they were shifting towards more plant-based food.

Eleven percent are now opting for a purely vegetarian or vegan diet, and a third are cutting down on their meat consumption by going 'flexitarian', with diets focused on plant-based foods without eliminating meat entirely.

Chris Johnson, Nestlé CEO for Asia, Oceania and Africa, said the brand is going "beyond the bun to capture local tastes and convince people to try plant-based options. We believe that the more people embrace plant-based food, the better for them and the planet. That's why we are at the forefront of this shift and investing for the future."

Harvest Gourmet has reached agreements to supply global and regional restaurant chains including Element Fresh in China, KyoChon in Malaysia and Carl's Jr in Singapore.

It will also supply growing demand in retail, starting in China with Tmall and Hema.

Research And Development

Globally, Nestlé has around 300 scientists, engineers, and product developers dedicated to the research and development of plant-based products.

To adapt the products to Asian consumer needs, the company leverages its R&D centres in Singapore, Beijing, China, as well as Manesar, India.

Food technologists, scientists, and chefs tailor the meat and dairy alternatives to local preferences by using regionally sourced ingredients and simplified recipes inspired by favourite dishes across Asia.

Working alongside food service experts, Nestlé also tailors out-of-home products for use in professional kitchens, taking into account their specific cooking and serving requirements.

Thomas Hauser, head of global product and technology development, Nestlé, said the group is "continuously exploring new technologies and recipes to deliver a wide range of great-tasting, nutritious, and sustainable plant-based products for both its retail and out-of-home business."

"Our local innovation capabilities in Asia enable us to accelerate the innovation of outstanding plant-based alternatives that Asian consumers love," Hauser added.

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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