Nestlé to launch pea-based milk alternative

Plant-based alternative to milk
Nestlé to launch pea-based milk alternative
A six-month intensive team challenge that resulted in Wunda, a pea-beverage that will see Nestlé make its largest ever entry into plant-based drinks in Europe. Photo - Nestlé

With plant-based diets growing in popularity, more people turn to milk alternatives for their daily cereal, latte, desserts, baking, or cooking. However, it's challenging to find one great plant-based milk alternative for every use. Most cereal, nut, or pea-based milk alternatives have a specific taste, are low in protein, or don't mix or foam well in hot beverages. This meant you might need two or three plant-based options for different uses until now.

Nestlé is launching Wunda, a new pea-based beverage that, according to the company, is 'epic in everything' that you would otherwise use milk for. That means you can drink it straight, pour over cereal, use in hot beverages, froth it, cook with it, and much more.

Stefan Palzer, Nestlé's chief technology officer, says, "This truly versatile, delicious pea-based beverage is an excellent source of protein and fiber. Its great neutral taste, the ability to use it for different applications, and the fact that it is carbon neutral make it an ideal plant-based alternative to milk. Our young intrapreneurs created this great product based on their own consumer needs by leveraging our longstanding expertise in plant-proteins and dairy."

Wunda will launch first in France, the Netherlands, and Portugal, with a roll-out to other European markets. In addition to the original recipe, the Wunda range includes unsweetened and chocolate versions.

Wunda-ful for people and the planet

The Wunda range is made from yellow peas, which provide high-quality protein and are sourced in France and Belgium. The company claims that the drinks offer strong nutritional value compared to similar plant-based beverages on the market. They are high in fiber, low in sugar and fat, enriched with calcium, and are a source of vitamins D, B2, and B12. The original, unsweetened, and chocolate recipes all achieve a Nutri-Score A in Europe.

Peas are also one of the most environmentally friendly sources of plant-based protein. The Wunda beverages are carbon neutral from launch and certified by the Carbon Trust. This is achieved through several measures along the supply chain, such as using renewable energy in production while reducing emissions during distribution. For emissions that cannot be eliminated, the brand will invest in high-quality offsetting projects.

Accelerator-ed development

Wunda was initially developed as part of Nestlé's R&D Accelerator initiative. Working with a start-up mindset, Nestlé' intrapreneurs' created and scaled up this great-tasting, nutritious pea-based beverage in only six months. They had access to the company's unmatched dairy and plant protein expertise and proprietary technologies, and small to medium scale equipment. The product's neutral taste and high protein content allow it to be fully versatile for many different uses.

Wunda - above and beyond

Wunda aims to be a name people can trust for a range of plant-based products. The brand is already working on other innovations within the dairy alternative space to give people new options for their favorites.

As Cédric Boehm, head of Dairy for Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, says, "There is a quiet food revolution underway that is changing how people eat. In Europe, at least 4 in 10 shoppers are already choosing some dairy alternatives. People are asking for better plant-based drinks that are nutritious, versatile, and taste great. We have the expertise in plant-based and experience in dairy to be at the forefront of this shift, and we're sure Wunda will convince people."

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