Why Nestlé May Soon Be the Biggest Name In Vegan Meat
Nestle is selling off a bulk of its charcuterie business to focus on vegan food.
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Nestlé is selling the majority of its stake in German sausage brand, Herta Charcuterie, in favor of strengthening its focus on non-meat products. The multinational corporation will sell 60 percent of the brand to Spanish company, Casa Tarradellas.

Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider first mentioned the potential sale at a press conference last February, FoodNavigator reported.

“Inside food and beverage, 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,” said Schneider.

Nestlé and the Plant-Based Food Market

Schneider highlighted that Nestlé’s focus on food, beverage, health, and nutrition products is “really shining through now.” 

The multi-national company has been working to strengthen its plant-based offerings over the past few years. It acquired vegetarian meat brand Sweet Earth in September 2017, noting how consumer preferences are shifting toward vegan protein. Last January, Nestlé announced the Incredible Burger, a Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger-adjacent patty made from soy and wheat protein, that launched this spring through its Garden Gourmet line. In the U.S., it a similar burger was launched under the Sweet Earth label: the Awesome Burger.

“This industry is changing very fast and it requires that we also change very fast to stay in step with it and continue with our lead. That has happened in 2018, we’re seeing significant, meaningful progress on all fronts with our acceleration creation model that we outlined in June 2017,” he continued.

Nestlé has also steadily built its dairy-free portfolio. On the same day that it announced the Incredible Burger, the company revealed that walnut milk is in the works.

In February 2018, it purchased a majority stake in Terrafertil, an Ecuadorean plant-based food and beverage company that makes vegan milk. The company also recently launched plant-based protein coffee smoothies under its NesCafé brand, made with coffee, oat milk, and nut butter.

The Swiss giant believes that its plant-based business will reach $1 billion in the next decade, Laurent Freixe, CEO of the Americas region, told Bloomberg in December 2018. Along with food giants Givaudan and Bühler, invested $4.11 million in the Future Food Initiative, a joint research program for the acceleration of sustainable plant-based food.