Up-to-date products and announcements from the food and beverage sector

Up-to-date products and announcements from the food and beverage sector

From niche to norm
Nearly one-fourth of US consumers report eating plant-based meat, poultry, or seafood products, revealing that plant-based products are going mainstream and are no longer niche, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the new study Meat, Poultry & Seafood Alternatives: Outlook for Plant-Based & Cultured Cell-Based Consumer Products.

“Packaged Facts’ August 2020 National Online Consumer Survey found that 23 per cent of consumers claim to eat any variety of plant-based meat products,” says Jennifer Mapes-Christ, Packaged Facts’ food and beverage publisher. “There are opportunities to target this burgeoning minority of consumers, who may be persuaded to use larger volumes of plant-based meat in their diets. The 77 per cent of consumers who do not eat plant-based meat products also suggests that marketers have a lot of room to increase penetration among the population.”


Coffee on subscription
Celebrated Italian coffee brand, Lavazza, is launching its first coffee subscription service for Lavazza’s professional capsule system, Lavazza Blue. Ideal for small and medium sized offices and compatible with both the Classy Mini & Classy Custom Milk, the Lavazza Blue subscription service ensures office managers can supply employees with consistent quality and variety of flavor every time.

The Lavazza Classy Mini & MilkEasy is the ideal solution for smaller office spaces. The machine creates quality espressos, and paired with the MilkEasy frother, it is perfect for creating milk-based coffee recipes, such as cappuccino and latte.

The Classy Custom Milk is an innovative yet cost effective solution for medium offices. With eight coffee recipes, ready to brew and an innovative fresh milk system, the Classy Custom Milk can create coffee shop favorites with ease, even with plant-based milk beverages, such as soy milk cappuccinos or oat milk latte.

David Rogers, Managing Director at Lavazza UK said: “Following the success of the at home subscription service for consumers, we are delighted to be launching this innovative solution that provides UK offices with coffee shop quality at a competitive price. Lavazza Blue is a stand-out professional capsule system, which we’ve shaped over time to bring the ultimate Italian coffee break to any workplace.”

The Lavazza Blue capsule range has been developed with three tasting areas in mind: Aromatic, Balanced and Intense. The system not only brews coffee but also serves a full range of delicious hot beverages including lemon tea and smooth hot chocolate, ensuring office managers can cater to the tastes of all employees.

Fresh acquisition
Nestlé has acquired Freshly, one of the leading fresh-prepared meal delivery services in the US. The deal values Freshly at $950m, with potential earnouts up to $550m contingent to the successful growth of the business.

Founded in 2015, Freshly delivers a menu of fresh, chef-cooked meals to customers across the country, breaking down the barriers to healthy eating by delivering nutrition and convenience at scale.

This move brings together Nestlé’s deep understanding of what and how people eat at home, and world class research and development capabilities with Freshly’s highly specialized consumer analytics platform and distribution network to fuel growth opportunities within the Freshly business and across Nestlé’s portfolio.

“We are excited to welcome Freshly to the Nestlé family,” said Nestlé USA Chairman and CEO, Steve Presley. “Consumers are embracing ecommerce and eating at home like never before. It’s an evolution brought on by the pandemic but taking hold for the long term. Freshly is an innovative, fast-growing, food-tech startup, and adding them to the portfolio accelerates our ability to capitalize on the new realities in the US food market and further positions Nestlé to win in the future.”

“We are extremely excited to expand our relationship with Nestlé,” added Freshly CEO Michael Wystrach. “Our mission is to make eating healthy easy by bringing nutritious, high quality meals directly to customers’ homes. Convenience and nutrition are driving forces in the future of food, and our becoming a part of the world’s largest food company confirms that. With Nestlé, we will have access to resources, research and development, and years of experience that we can tap into to catapult our growth plans and move closer to our goal of being in every household in America.”

Future foods
In November 2020, Unilever announced a new annual global sales target of €1bn from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, within the next five to seven years. The growth will be driven by the roll-out of The Vegetarian Butcher as well as increasing vegan alternatives from brands including Hellmann’s, Magnum and Wall’s.

The target is part of Unilever’s ‘Future Foods’ ambition, launched globally with two key objectives: to help people transition towards healthier diets and to help reduce the environmental impact of the global food chain.

Unilever, which also makes Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s and Knorr, has also committed to:

  • Halve food waste in its direct global operations from factory to shelf by 2025 – five years earlier than previously committed, as part of the Champions 12.3 coalition target.
  • Double the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally by 2025 – defined as products containing impactful amounts of vegetables, fruits, proteins, or micronutrients like vitamins, zinc, iron and iodine.
  • Continue lowering calorie, salt and sugar levels across products
  • 85 per cent of Unilever’s global Foods portfolio will help consumers reduce their salt intake to no more than 5g per day, by 2022.
  • 95 per cent of Unilever’s packaged ice cream will not contain more than 22g of total sugar, and 250 Kcal per serving, by 2025.

This is in addition to the company’s children’s ice creams, which have been capped at 110 kcal since 2014.

Hanneke Faber, President of Unilever’s Foods & Refreshment Division, says: “As one of the world’s largest food companies, we have a critical role to play in helping to transform the global food system. It’s not up to us to decide for people what they want to eat, but it is up to us to make healthier and plant-based options accessible to all.”

Farming together
A five-year project in which farmers will work together to enhance biodiversity across the landscape was launched in nine European countries in November 2020. In the FRAMEwork project farmers will work together, alongside scientists and engineers, to increase knowledge and to find solutions to problems of managing biodiversity. They will also work with citizens, retailers, processors, government policy makers and others, to ensure that biodiversity sensitive farming is valued, and fair incentives are offered to drive adoption.

Using the farmer cluster model, which has been successful in the UK and elsewhere, the FRAMEwork project aims to develop solutions and approaches that will embed the benefits of managing the land for biodiversity into farming practices and policy, while limiting the economic risk to farming businesses. This prototype project will be based around Advanced Farmer Clusters, which will see local farmers work collectively on landscape scale management, supported by a Cluster Facilitator with expertise in agriculture and the environment.

Through knowledge sharing, both between farmers and research staff, across participating countries, the aim is to better appreciate not only the ecological impacts of sustainable agriculture, but also the social and economic factors. It is hoped that the project will improve understanding of the relationship between biodiversity and agriculture across the EU and inform the design of new incentives for farmland biodiversity gains, rewarding farmers for providing public goods alongside productive farmland. The FRAMEwork project’s long-term ambition is to prototype this system, learning from both its development and its testing, and see it rolled out across Europe in the years following the project.