Swiss food giant Nestlé is set to release a vegan version of its Carnation condensed milk.
The new non-dairy condensed milk is made from oat and rice flour. It will debut in three major UK retailers in September, launching first in Ocado. It will be available in Morrisons and Tesco the following month.
Nestlé’s marketing lead for UK dairy brands, Vittoria Simms, told The Grocer it took the company 18 months to develop the dairy-free product, which she said Nestlé created in order to cater to vegans.
“It has been a challenge for vegans to find suitable alternatives to make dairy or caramel-based sweets treats or desserts, without having to compromise on taste, texture or appearance,” Simms explained.
In March, the company launched a vegan version of Milo—a chocolate malt beverage. The popular cocoa malt beverage previously only featured milk powder. Similar to the non-dairy condensed milk, the plant-based version of Milo is oat-based. It’s also made with soy.
Nestlé Embraces Veganism
To keep up with the ever-growing demand for vegan food, Nestlé is offering more plant-based products.
In 2017, it acquired Sweet Earth, a plant-based meat brand. The company has since grown its vegan meat range with its “bleeding” plant-based burgers. It launched the Awesome Burger, a pea and wheat protein-based patty, and the Incredible Burger. The latter is part of its Garden Gourmet line in Europe.
In May, the company announced it would open its first vegan food facility in China.
The facility will be located in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area. The international food giant said the plant should have its first range of plant-based meat products ready for distribution by the end of the year.
The vegan food facility is part of Nestlé’s $103.58 million plan to grow its manufacturing footprint in China.
Nestlé’s Move Away From Meat and Dairy
Last December, Nestlé announced it would no longer manufacture dairy ice cream in the US. It sold its ice cream business to Froneri for $4 billion. The sale included Drumstick, Häagen-Dazs, and Dreyer’s.
In February 2019, Nestlé revealed it would sell its majority stake in the German-based sausage brand Herta Charcuterie. Instead, it partnered with Burcon and Merit Functional Foods—both Canada-based vegan protein manufacturers—to source ingredients for its plant-based products.
“If you think about today’s announcement on Herta, it really shows how we are positioning the company towards what is benefiting from higher growth and future areas such as plant-based offerings that are very much on-trend with where consumers are heading,” the company’s CEO Mark Schneider said in a release.