Nestlé and Sproud roll out plant-based pea 'milk' drinks

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Wunda was initially developed as part of Nestlé's R&D Accelerator initiative
Wunda was initially developed as part of Nestlé's R&D Accelerator initiative

Related tags: Drinks, Ingredients & nutrition, Npd, vegan

Nestlé has introduced Wunda, a new pea-based 'milk', while Swedish pea 'milk' brand Sproud has been launched into northern England supermarket chain Booths.

Wunda is launching first in France, the Netherlands and Portugal, with a roll-out to other European markets planned. The drinks range is designed to be consumed in the same way as dairy milk, for example on its own, as a complement to cereal, in hot drinks and in cooking. Nestlé said it aimed to further expand the Wunda brand in the dairy alternatives segment.

The announcement comes the day after Britvic revealed it was acquiring plant-based drinks firm Plenish​ ​and represents intensifying interest in plant-based drinks.

In addition to the original recipe, the Wunda range includes unsweetened and chocolate versions. It is high in fibre and protein and low in sugar and fat, enriched with calcium and is a source of vitamins D, B2 and B12. Products are made from yellow peas sourced in France and Belgium.

Carbon neutral

The original, unsweetened and chocolate variants all achieve a Nutri-Score A in Europe, Nestlé said. It also underlined its carbon neutral credentials and certified by the Carbon Trust.

That had been achieved through measures such as using renewable energy in production, while reducing emissions during distribution, Nestlé confirmed. For emissions that could not be eliminated, the brand would invest in high-quality offsetting projects, it said.

Plant-based protein conference

Food Manufacture ​held its virtual conference The Future of Plant-based Proteins: Roots of Further Growth​ on 31 March. Speakers and panellists included James Fisher, lead product developer, convenience meals, Marks & Spencer; Felippe Castillo, director of marketing and innovation at Tyson Foods and Karl Williams, group technical director, Meatless Farm.

Kerry Radicle, Roquette and Loma Linda Tuno sponsored the event, which is available on demand at £125+VAT per ticket​. Supporters were Cargill, Firmenich, Ingredion, Mane and Symrise.

Wunda was initially developed as part of Nestlé's R&D Accelerator initiative. Working with a start-up mindset, Nestlé said its 'intrapreneurs' created it and scaled up production in only six months. They had access to the company's dairy and plant protein expertise as well as proprietary technologies and small to medium scale equipment.

"There is a quiet food revolution underway that is changing how people eat,"​ said Cédric Boehm, head of dairy for Europe, Middle East and North Africa. "In Europe, at least four in ten 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 people will be convinced by Wunda."

Sproud Unsweetened (1)

Sproud

At the same time, Sproud, the Swedish start-up behind a range of plant-based milk made from yellow split peas, has announced its most recent UK listing in all Booths supermarkets in northern England.

Booths stores will now stock all three Sproud variants. These are: Unsweetened, which contains zero grammes of sugar and is billed as a versatile replacement for semi-skimmed milk; Barista, which is designed to be used by baristas for frothing and Chocolate.

Maria Tegman, chief executive and co-founder at Sproud said: “Our Unsweetened remains our number one variant in the UK because of its versatility and zero-sugar content, but many Sproud fans here like using all three products, so we're really glad Booths has recognised this by making the full range available to customers.”

Designed to match dairy milk

Sproud's products are designed to match the taste, mouthfeel and nutritional profile of dairy milk. Its Unsweetened variant provided the closest alternative to semi-skimmed milk, it said. The entire product range is allergen-free, high in protein, and fortified with essential vitamins and amino acids.

Since launching in the UK in 2019, Sproud quickly made its products available nationwide and established itself as a leading provider of pea-based alt-milk on the UK market.

In stocking Sproud, Booths now joins major online retailers and supermarkets such as Waitrose, Ocado, and Amazon, as well as restaurants, cafés and independent shops. It is available in 18 markets, including in the US, where it recently secured a listing with Whole Foods Market.

Earlier this year, Sproud was named the first ever alt-milk brand to have its products certified by Sugarwise, the international authority for sugar claims.

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