Posts tagged with "Nestle"

Nestlé caters to the Ozempic crowd with a line of frozen meals crafted just for GLP-1 users

May 22, 2024
GLP-1 weight-loss drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy—once prescribed only to people managing conditions like diabetes—have hit the mainstream. Not only are celebrities slimming down with the injections, but so are millions of other people, reports Fast Company.

In order to capitalize on the Ozempic trend, some brands are releasing food lines aimed at those taking the drugs. On Tuesday, May 21, Nestlé announced its Vital Pursuit line for those using GLP-1s for weight-loss management. In the announcement, the company explained that the 12 frozen meals are portion-controlled and high in fiber and other essential nutrients.

“As the use of medications to support weight loss continues to rise, we see an opportunity to serve those consumers,” Steve Presley, Nestlé North America’s CEO, said in a statement. “Vital Pursuit provides accessible, great-tasting food options that support the needs of consumers in this emerging category. We’re leveraging our deep understanding of consumers and nutritional science to stay ahead of the trends that are shaping consumer behaviors, and innovating across our portfolio to deliver products people will love.”

Vital Pursuit is Nestlé’s first GLP-1-focused line. However, other brands have already made efforts to capitalize on the era of weight-loss drugs. Last month, GNC announced it would add a section to its stores with vitamins, supplements, and shakes for people taking GLP-1 medications. The company also announced that in order to better serve its customers, employees would be trained on common side effects of those medications.

While it seems like it could be a gamble to create an entire line of food or supplements for people taking weight-loss drugs, it’s probably not. The market is massive and growing quickly. According to Nestlé’s announcement, per the National Center for Health Statistics nearly half of U.S. adults reported trying to lose weight at some point over a yearlong period, and 1 in 60 were prescribed a GLP-1 medication in 2023.

Vital Pursuit will be available in the United States by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Research contact: @FastCompany

Surging air fryer popularity leads Nestlé, other CPG giants to rethink food

May 7, 2024

For nearly half a century, the venerable Hot Pocket has been synonymous with the metallic crisping sleeve used to heat the cheese-, meat-, and vegetable-filled turnover in a microwave. But the rapid growth in popularity of the air fryer has changed how many consumers warm the popular snack—leading brand owner Nestlé to ditch the sleeve altogether, reports Food Dive.

“Consumers are telling us, ‘You know, once I cooked the Hot Pocket in the air fryer, I’ll never go back. It’s just so much better and so much crispier,’ ” said Adam Graves, president of Nestlé U.S.’s Pizza and Snacking Division. “The future is all about the air fryer. It’s really just a generational shift that you’re going to see.”

The air fryer has rapidly become a force in the food industry, upending what products consumers buy and how they prepare them. Roughly two-thirds of homes today have at least one air fryer, according to data analytics firm Circana, up sharply from 2021. Two years ago, the appliance became the fourth most popular cooking device behind the stove top, microwave and oven. More people have an air fryer today in their kitchen than a coffee maker, Nestlé noted.

And the lasting popularity of the device has not gone unnoticed by food manufacturers. Nestlé, Conagra Brands, Campbell Soup, and Perdue Farms are among the companies developing a dizzying array of products made in or for an air fryer. An even larger number of products lining store shelves now contain instructions on preparing them using one. In some packages, microwave or oven instructions have been removed in favor of those for an air fryer.

Graves said Nestlé first removed the crisping sleeve in 2022 from its larger-sized Hot Pockets after it observed people enjoyed the crispier crust that resulted from an air fryer. It recently removed the sleeve from its Hot Pockets breakfast lineup and is on track to remove it from the rest of the brand by the end of this year.

Other products—such as Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese bites and DiGiorno personal-size pizzas—suggest on the front of the packaging that people prepare the offering in an air fryer.

Households are still using the microwave with greater frequency, but he noted that the highest level of air fryer use is among teens and college kids. Many uuniversity students have the device in their dorm rooms instead of a microwave.

Younger consumers are “what’s going to drive the growth of air fryers and our business going forward,” Graves said.

Research contact: @FoodDive

From the freezer to the kiosk: Nestlé tests a vending machine that makes DiGiorno pizza in three minutes

August 18, 2023

With more than $1 billion in sales, Nestlé is testing a way to make a hot thin-crust DiGiorno pizza on demand in places such as college dorms and airports, as the world’s largest food company looks to move the brand “beyond the freezer,” reports Food Dive.

The kiosk, which looks similar to a Redbox DVD rental machine, enables consumers to order a cheese or pepperoni pizza for $9 that is delivered through a slot in the machine ready to eat in three minutes. Nestlé launched a pilot kiosk at a Colorado Walmart in April; and introduced a second one three months later at a company facility in Ohio where it develops frozen foods.

“This is about moving beyond the freezer, and fundamentally shifting the opportunity for us to serve consumers in places and occasions that we don’t have immediate access to today,” Adam Graves, president of Nestlé USA’s Pizza & Snacking Division, said in an interview. “The early results are encouraging and there are any number of imaginable applications where this concept in tech could go in the future.”

Nestlé said of the roughly 100 customers it surveyed who have purchased from the kiosk, 95% of them believed some aspect makes the hot DiGiorno pizza a good value and 92% see themselves buying another pizza from the kiosk in the future.

Nestlé is using the two DiGiorno kiosks it has rolled out already to determine whether it will expand the pilot, the pace at which it would do it, and where the kiosks would be located. Possible areas where the vending machine could appear include college campuses and dorms, home improvement stores, and airports. Nestlé said it is the first major consumer packaged goods company to do a pilot for an automated pizza vending machine.

If Nestlé decides to roll out the kiosk more widely, it could allow the company to grab a larger share of the frozen pizza market. The machines also potentially could become a threat to pizza delivery firms such as Domino’s and Papa John’s. 

and the need to service the technology. It’s a drastically different process than Nestlé’s existing business model in retail, Graves noted.

The company also is keeping a close watch on the quality of the pizza to ensure it is the same as what consumers expect from the frozen DiGiorno they purchase in stores.

“We’re being very mindful about how and where we scale because of that and the quality and trust commitment we have with consumers,” Graves said.

Research contact: @FoodDive

Coca-Cola to build $650M Fairlife plant in New York State

May 23, 2023

Coca-Cola has selected New York State as its “preferred location” for a new Fairlife production facility costing an estimated $650 million, Governor Kathy Hochul (D) has announced, reports Food Dive.

The 745,000-square-foot facility—to be located in Webster, New York, a suburb of Rochester—is expected to create up to 250 new jobs. Coca-Cola expects to break ground on the project this fall and to have the facility operational by the fourth quarter of 2025. It will be the largest dairy processing plant in the Northeast. 

Fairlife has been a big winner for Coca-Cola recently as the beverage giant evolves into a “total beverage company” and invests in brands that have a long runway for growth. Last year, Coca-Cola said Fairlife topped $1 billion in annual retail sales for the first time.

While Coca-Cola is best known for brands such as Sprite, Dasani and its namesake soda, the Atlanta-based company has moved aggressively to build out a portfolio that is broader and, in many cases, healthier.

During CEO James Quincey’s tenure, Coca-Cola has purchased or acquired the remaining stakes in brands it didn’t already own—including Fairlife, sparkling water offering Topo Chico, and sports drink line BodyArmor.

Coca-Cola acquired the remaining stake of Fairlife, which makes ultra-filtered milk and dairy products, from its joint venture partner Select Milk Producers, a dairy cooperative, in 2020. Coca-Cola previously owned a 42.5% minority stake. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The ultra-filtered milk process removes the lactose and much of the sugar, and leaves behind more of the protein and calcium.

Fairlife, which launched in 2012, started with a high-protein milkshake aimed at athletes and has since expanded into other value-added dairy products, including its popular milk and ice cream.

The brand has grown nearly 30% year to date and currently a quarter of all U.S. households purchase a Fairlife product, Coca-Cola said, citing Nielsen data.

The New York plant would be Fairlife’s third in the United States. Coca-Cola has facilities in Coopersville, Michigan, and Goodyear, Arizona.

“Consumer demand for Fairlife products is at an all-time high, and a new production facility will allow us to significantly increase capacity and deliver fairlife to even more households across the country,” Tim Doelman,Fairlife’s CEO, said in a statement.

He added that as the brand continues its expansion in the Northeast, the New York location’s proximity and access to dairy farmers “make it an excellent location to support our next phase of growth.”

Coca-Cola is the latest large CPG company to build a new plant or expand an existing facility to prepare for an increase in sales of a product. Mondelēz International, Nestlé, J.M. Smucker, and Post Holdings are among the food and beverage to make multi-million-dollar announcements in recent years.

Research contact: @FoodDive

One-third of consumers can’t find a plant-based dairy product they like, survey finds

April 25, 2023

One-third of consumers say they have not found a plant-based dairy product that they want to drink, according to a survey by Singapore-based ingredients provider Ofi.

Indeed, Food Dive reports, while milk alternatives, such as almond and oat, have become popular over the past decade; barriers remain for some consumers, including taste, mouthfeel, and affordability.

Still, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they purchased at least one plant-based dairy product each week—and the same numbers reported buying milk alternatives along with regular dairy. Health and nutrition were listed as the most important factors when deciding to buy them.

Conversely, while 82% of those surveyed said they use animal-free products at least once a month, 7% said they went back to dairy after they did not enjoy their first plant-based alternative.

The survey from Ofi—the producer of the ingredients such as coffee, edible nuts and dairy—asked more than 1,500 adults about their adoption of plant-based dairy. Interest is rising, as 63% said they expect to purchase more products during the next two years.

The survey results indicate there are key areas plant-based dairy producers should concentrate on when conceiving new products, particularly flavors and health benefits, said Sonali Dalvi, Ofi’s vice president of Innovation.

“This is a call to action to the food and beverage industry. You need a fresh, creative approach to flavor creation, color, and texture development to make products that captivate consumers,” Dalvi said in a statement.

Given consumers’ prioritization of nutritious and functional aspects when choosing a dairy alternative, Dalvi said there is potential for formulations made from ingredients such as cocoa, nuts, and spices that feature clean-label attributes.

Affordability and accessibility also provide a barrier to entry for some consumers, the survey indicated, as 57% of those who eschew plant-based dairy said the prices are a significant factor.

As Gen Z moves away from dairy milk, the leading plant-based dairy alternatives continue to grow their sales. Large consumer packaged goods companies like Nestlé, Chobani, and Danone have leaned into the dairy alternative category with new products in recent years.

Oat milk, one of the leading product categories, is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 15.4% through 2028, according to Grand View Research.

The increase in consumer adoption of plant-based milks has resulted in more recognition for the category from federal regulators. In February, the FDA said plant-based milk products can can be labeled as “milk,” while recommending that producers add nutritional disclosures to their packaging to help consumers discern it from dairy milk.

Research contact: @FoodDive

Consumer brands to test refillable containers, delivered and returned in ‘milkman-style mode’

January 25, 2019

Fill ‘er up: The world’s biggest producers of shampoo, detergent, and packaged food will test selling their products in reusable containers—adopting a “milkman-style mode” to address mounting concerns about plastic waste, The Wall Street Journal reported on January 24.

Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever are among 25 companies that, next summer, will try selling some products in glass, steel, and other containers designed to be returned, cleaned, and refilled.

While critics already are questioning high costs and entrenched consumer behavior will tank the project, the companies say that such efforts will reduce waste from single-use packaging. It also could represent an effective way to woo eco-conscious consumers, glean data, and foster brand loyalty.

“I sometimes wonder if it’s a fair accusation that we’re in the branded litter business,” Unilever Chief Executive Alan Jope  said at a conference on January 22, the Journal reported, adding that the company must do more on plastic waste. “That’s what people care about right now.”

Unilever is known for its food and refreshment brands (Breyers, Hellmann’s Knorr, Lipton), home care solutions (Domestos toilet bleach), and beauty and personal care products (Axe, Dove, Vaseline).

The company, based jointly in London and Rotterdam, will sell nine brands in refillable containers as part of the initiative, which will be run by Trenton, New Jersey-based recycling company TerraCycle—and will start with 5,000 shoppers in New York and Paris in May, the Journal reports. The pilot will extend to London later this year and cities including Toronto and Tokyo next year, according to TerraCycle.

Unilever estimates that a refillable steel container for its Axe and Dove stick deodorants will last eight years—long enough to prevent the disposal of as many as 100 traditional deodorant packages.

Refillables once dominated industries such as beer and soft drinks but lost out to convenient, affordable single-use containers. In 1947, refillables made up 100% of soft-drink containers by volume and 86% of beer containers, according to the Container Recycling Institute, a nonprofit. By 1998 those figures dropped to 0.4% and 3.3%, respectively.

While a handful of entrepreneurs have founded businesses that sell shampoo and detergents in refillable containers, and some grocery stores sell in bulk to consumers who bring their own containers, the practice is niche, according to the Journal.

“From a philosophical point of view, we have got to lean in and learn about this stuff,” Simon Lowden, president of PepsiCo’s Global Snacks Group, who also leads a task force on plastic waste, told the business news outlet. “People talk about recyclability and reuse and say they’d like to be involved in helping the environment, so let’s see if it’s true.”

PepsiCo will sell its Tropicana orange juice in a glass bottle and Quaker Chocolate Cruesli cereal in a stainless-steel container as part of the trial.

Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble will sell ten brands—including Pantene shampoo in an aluminum bottle, Tide laundry detergent in a stainless-steel container , and an Oral B toothbrush with a durable handle and a replaceable head.

“It’s really about a new delivery system and making sure once people are hooked into this they stay with the product,” P&G’s Chief Sustainability Officer Virginie Helias told the newspaper.

Shoppers whom the companies select for the trial will be able to order hundreds of products—including Nestlé’s Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Clorox’s wet wipes—from a website for home delivery. Products will arrive in a reusable tote with no extra packaging. Once finished, users schedule a pickup for empty containers to be cleaned and refilled.

Participating consumers can sign up for a subscription-based service that replenishes products once empty containers are returned. TerraCycle will handle delivery, returns and cleaning.

The products will cost roughly the same as the versions in single-use containers, but users will also have to pay a deposit of $1-$10 per container. Shipping charges start at roughly $20, decreasing with every item added.

 “Recycling is not the answer to garbage,” said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “The real problem is how do we solve waste, and the root cause of waste is disposability.”

Proponents of refillables say they can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, waste and energy use. A bottle refilled five times as part of the project has an impact equivalent to five single-use bottles when accounting for the use of resources and the release of pollutants, estimates TerraCycle. Each use after that is incrementally better for the environment, the company believes.

The project isn’t likely to be profitable anytime soon given its small scale. Companies have had to invest between six and seven figures per product to subsidize prices and develop packaging, among other things.

“You simply have to start somewhere to test it and see what the barriers are and who actually buys into the model,” Unilever’s Research-and-Development Chief David Blanchard told the Journal, adding, “If there are sufficient people then you can scale it.”

Unilever participated in a 2010 pilot to sell laundry detergent in refillable containers, but that effort failed in part because consumers didn’t like the inconvenience of washing containers and returning to stores for refills, Blanchard said. The coming trial is more convenient because consumers don’t have to clean the containers or physically return them to stores.

Research contact: @SaabiraC