The world’s largest food company, Nestlé, is advancing further into the fast-growing and highly competitive plant-based food space with the launch of two new products.
The company announced Wednesday it will be debuting a plant-based meat version of its frozen food brands, Digioni pizza and Stouffer’s lasagna, two products that usually contain conventional meat.
In 2017, Nestlé acquired Sweet Earth, a plant-based food manufacturer based in California. Since then, Nestlé has launched a plant-based burger and a version of ground beef under the names Awesome Burger and Awesome Grounds.
Both the DiGiorno Rising Crust Meatless Pizza and the Stouffer’s Meatless Lasagna will use Awesome Grounds plant-based beef in their products. The faux ground meat is made from pea protein, coconut oil, and wheat gluten, packing 16 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per serving.
According to Nestlé USA, when developing the products the company commissioned a consumer survey and discovered close to half of the participants claimed they have either integrated plant-based meat into their diet or have thought about doing so long-term.
The survey also discovered 3 in 10 consumers who haven’t tried plant-based meat would be open to it if they were given the opportunity. In addition, 50 percent of consumers also claimed they would be willing to try it if it was incorporated in pizza or lasagna.
To further generate hype around its launch next year, Nestlé is also rolling out an online contest starting December 5th giving consumers a chance to win a package of Digiorno and Stouffer’s plant-based meat products to taste before it officially hits the market.
“There’s no denying the current modern food movement is revolutionizing the plant-based space,” said John Carmichael, president of the Nestlé foods division. “By adding Sweet Earth Awesome Grounds to Stouffer’s and DiGiorno offerings, we’re able to offer our customers the chance to incorporate plant-based meals into their diets while still enjoying the same convenience and delicious flavor of brands they know and trust.”
Both products will be available for purchase through Amazon Fresh in the spring of 2020, but the retail price has yet to be disclosed. So far, this is the first expansion Nestlé Sweet Earth franchise has made outside of its brand. But if the Digino and Stouffer’s products end up doing well, it’s likely Awesome Grounds will expand to more of Nestlé’s products in the near future.