Swiss food company Nestlé aims to debut vegan tuna salad by the end of 2020. In 2019, sales of Nestlé’s plant-based products grew to $204 million and CEO Mark Schneider is looking to expand that success into the company’s $12.2 billion prepared foods sector. “We are talking chicken analogue products like chicken nuggets and chicken fillets. And we have been working now on a tuna salad analogue, which I think holds great promise and should be out on the shelves later this year,” Schneider told Foodnavigator. “What you’re seeing here is a once in a generation opportunity to review, rejuvenate, re-energise this category because these ingredients, these plant-based ingredients, can find their way in so many of our dishes in follow-on products that make up this category.” Nestlé began its foray into the plant-based meat industry last spring with the launch of its Incredible Burger in Europe, where it is available in grocery stores and as part of The Big Vegan TS at McDonald’s in Germany. Stateside, Nestlé launched the Awesome Burger and Awesome Grounds in stores in September under vegetarian brand Sweet Earth—which it acquired for an undisclosed amount in 2017. This spring, Sweet Earth will launch additional plant-based meats, including a sausage line in three flavors (Habanero Cheddar which is made with vegan cheddar cheese, Asian Ginger Scallion, and Chik’n Apple) and a line of deli slices (in flavors such as pastrami, mortadella, and roast beef) which will be available in packaged form and served from “The Vegan Butcher” deli counters at select supermarkets.
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