The Swiss food giant Nestle wants to add on to the number of partners for its plant-based burger sales in addition to its partnership with fast food chain McDonald’s as well as seeking to expands its partnership with McDonald’s outside of Germany, said the company’s chief on Tuesday.
“McDonald’s is an exciting and big customer, but it is not the only option and we have quite good capacity to cope with a (possible) extension beyond Germany,” Marco Settembri, the Chief Executive of Nestle’s Europe, Middle East and North Africa business told the media.
According to Barclays, over the next decade or so, the global market for alternative vegan meat could reach as high as $140 billion, driven by a growing tendency among consumers, who are health and climate conscious, to seek ways to reduce their consumption of conventional meat.
A plant-based Incredible Burger brand was launched in several European countries under the Garden Gourmet brand by Nestle in April this year. In the partnership with the McDonald’s was struck in the same month and the fast food chain sold the patties as “Big Vegan TS” in about 1,500 restaurants that it runs and operated across Germany.
Settembri said that the next steps in the partnership are being discussed between Nestle and McDonald’s because the initial results of the launch of the vegan meat in Germany have been encouraging.
“For both (of us), if we do it, if we go ahead, we want to do it right. We have capacity of course, but we really need to plan it and we need to do it well,” he told a Deutsche Bank conference.
It has been reported that Nestle is also in partnership with other companies for supplying the vegan meat to business customers. However, Settembri strongly stated that the retail channel of the company has been a “historical strength” for it and therefore Nestle also considers it as a very important business channel as well.
Nestle’s existing business is not threatened by the new meat alternatives that it is now promoting, he said, because there are not many meat products currently in the product profile of the company. The company also has recently put up for sale its Herta meat and cold cuts unit.
Plans slated for later in the year for launching of a plant-based burger in the United States have also been announced by the Switzerland-based Nestle. The major competitors for Nestle in te US market would be Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, which recently went public in the US and has performed extremely well at the stock market in a short period of time.
Nestle would make available its Awesome Burger to customers from retailers and at restaurants in the US market from September or October, said the heads of Nestle’s Sweet Earth brand, Kelly and Brian Swette in an interview with the media last week. The company however did not comment anything about the plans of Nestle launching the burger through McDonald’s in the US.
(Adapted from IndsideFMCG.com)