Nestlé USA has partnered with three unique start-ups as part of the TERRA Food & Agriculture Accelerator which was founded by RocketSpace and Rabobank. The three start-up companies – Jackson’s Honest, Miyoko’s and Here ̶ caught the eye of one of the largest food companies in the world because they produce on-trend foods that are plant-based with simple labels and fresh ingredients.
“These companies represent the future of food,” said Ashlee Adams, Head of Open Innovation at Nestlé. “Our open innovation efforts are focused on meeting companies where they are in their stage of growth and designing win-win partnerships that accelerate that growth. We look forward to working with these companies to share learnings, develop new capabilities and create something better together as we bring people more options in categories that are in high demand – healthy snacking and plant-based foods.”
Here Foods is a start-up that produces cold pressed juices, spreads, dips and salad dressings from fresh fruits and vegetables that are directly sourced from independent local farmers. Nestlé likely found an interest in this company because they take advantage of three key product trends: natural ingredients, healthy products and locally sourced foods. According to an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada sector trend analysis of sauces, dressings and condiments in North America, the market for such products will continue to see positive growth but they will experience a shift towards more nutritional and ethical qualities. Consumers have also been found to appreciate locally sourced food products and are willing to pay extra for such food items because they want to support their local economies.
Jacksons Honest’s portfolio of over 20 organic and non-GMO Project Verified snacks falls under the consumer demand for ethical and high-quality products. Millennials, in particular, have been found to actively seek out organic and non-GMO products because they believe such products are healthier. The company’s selection of organic snacks also falls under the growing snacking trend among busy consumers.
Miyoko’s is one of the fastest growing food companies in California. This is because the company uses age-old creamery methods to craft vegan cheese and butter products from plant-based ingredients. This is done through traditional cheese and butter making methods such as fermentation, culturing and aging. Considering the growing demand for plant-based alternatives in the food space, it’s no surprise that Nestlé wants to partner with this unique food company. According to Statista, the market value for vegan cheese products is forecasted to amount to $3.9 billion dollars by 2024.
These partnerships come as Nestlé continues to expand their presence in the health food space. It’s no secret that the food industry is shifting towards healthier and ethical food products due to changing consumer demands and Nestlé is doing their best to get ahead of the game. Just a few weeks ago, the company announced that they might sell their skin care lines to focus more on their food product lines. The company’s focus is evident in the recent launch of their new personalized nutrition program in Japan that utilizes DNA testing, artificial intelligence and Instagram.
In the US, Nestlé is trying to find the next superfood trend and has their eye on goldenberries. Earlier this spring, the company made headlines for developing a new kind of sugar reduction technology in the UK that is able to reduce the amount of sugar in confectionery products by 40 percent. It looks like Nestlé is working on their food platforms all over the world.
These new partnerships indicate that the company is now trying to set up a strong foundation in the plant-based alternatives industry. With more consumers identifying themselves as flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan, this particular market is set to grow significantly over the next few years.