With more people opting for a plant-based alternative in their morning latte, whether at home or on the go, baristas across the world are looking for options that provide the right taste and texture. To meet this demand, Nestlé Professional has been increasing its range of plant-based dairy alternatives for food service professionals, leveraging Nestlé's global R&D expertise on plant-based innovation. It is also sharing that expertise with baristas and other out-of-home providers with a series of webinars led by the team of Nestlé Professional.
There has been a focus on recent out-of-home launches in Asia. A Nestlé Barista plant-based coconut drink was launched in Thailand earlier this year, primarily for use in cold beverages to meet consumer tastes there.
In China, Nestlé has launched two new plant-based dairy alternatives in the past year - one pea- and one oat-based - under the Nestlé Barista brand. The drinks were developed by baristas and can be used in hot and cold coffee and tea applications that meet local tastes.
Furthermore, a barista-focused dairy alternative made with peas was launched under the Nestlé Barista brand and launched in South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.
In Latin America, the Nature's Heart Barista plant-based oat drink was launched in Brazil at the end of 2022 for hot and cold applications. The beverage is easy to steam and pour - making it perfect for latte art.
The Nature's Heart brand also rolled out a powdered plant-based creamer based on rice, designed for Nescafé automatic machines. This new product enables customers with self-service machines to be able to offer plant-based drinks to their consumers as well.
As Manuel Aleman, global category lead coffee ingredients and plant-based beverages at Nestlé Professional, explains, "The trend towards more plant-based options remains, with around 40% of consumers around the world already moving to a diet with less or no animal products. Taste is key for people to choose and stay in the category, especially flexitarians who are an important target group for dairy alternatives in out-of-home."
In addition to the recently launched out-of-home offerings, Nestlé has a strong and growing portfolio of plant-based dairy alternatives that people can use at home. A recent addition to the retail space is the oat and fava plant-based beverages which were launched in the U.S. under the natural bliss brand.
R&D capabilities for dairy alternatives
With wide-ranging innovation expertise in both dairy products and alternatives to dairy, Nestlé is well-equipped to deliver relevant solutions for out-of-home use across different countries.
Zenon Mandralis, head of R&D for Nestlé Professional says: "Our goal is to offer baristas and our customers plant-based alternatives that are very easy to froth, making the perfect latte or cappuccinos. Our scientists, product developers, and baristas work together to ensure that the products are also great-tasting and nutritious, with the right foam texture, mouthfeel, and appearance."
This work is primarily driven by R&D experts at Nestlé's largest research and development center for milk and milk alternatives in Konolfingen, Switzerland. The center collaborates closely with the Nestlé Professional R&D team in Orbe, Switzerland to ensure that the products are adapted for use in professional machines at cafés, bars, and restaurants worldwide. Through Nestlé's regional innovation centers, including in China, the products are further tailored to local taste preferences, beverage menu variety, and dietary needs.
Plant-based expertise for food service professionals
Nestlé Professional is the global leader in branded hot and cold beverage and local food solutions, serving the out-of-home industry. As part of that, the company shares its experience with food service customers in regular webinars.