Mixed feelings as Nestle expands vegan options with plant-based egg and shrimp substitutes Leave a comment

This week, Nestlé announced that it is expanding its range of plant-based protein products with a test launch of vegan alternatives to egg and shrimp.

The world’s largest food maker is trialling two products in Switzerland and Germany under its Garden Gourmet brand, an alt-egg product – vEGGie – and another option to shrimp, Vrimp.

According to a statement from Nestlé, the plant-based alternatives to eggs offer people a nutritious, tasty alternative to conventional eggs that is both sustainable and animal-friendly.

The product is vegan, contains soy protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and achieves a Nutri-Score A in Europe, and it is versatile for a wide range of cooking needs and can be scrambled like real eggs, used in a frittata and pancakes, or even as an ingredient when baking cakes or cookies.

Nestlé chief technology officer, Stefan Palzer said their new plant-based shrimp and egg alternatives have an authentic texture and flavour, as well as a favourable nutritional profile which makes them a good replacement for animal-based shrimp and eggs in a wide range of dishes.

“Our long-standing expertise in the plant, protein, and nutritional sciences enabled our teams to develop these great innovations in under a year. As we speak, our research and development teams are already preparing the next wave of plant-based launches,” said Palzer.

Twitter users had mixed feelings about the launch of these products.

@ShantP1 wrote: “Why? I don’t get it. If you are a vegan and don’t want to eat meat but want a substitute for it. Makes no sense.”

@SophiaLee42 wrote: “Plant-based substitutes never closely mirror the taste of meat. Some of them taste good as their own thing but they never closely mirror the meat they are supposed to be.”

@Fishh3ah wrote: “Shrimp.. especially wild-caught are towards the top of the list of healthiest things you can eat. Low calories too. Why substitute that?”

Will the company trial the products in this part of the world?

Business executive officer in the food unit at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region, Nithal Soni-Ramjee said Nestlé, including in their East and Southern African Region, is increasingly putting a focus on tasty, authentic plant-based food.

Soni-Ramjee said they believe this trend is here to stay, as consumers look at different ways to enjoy food that is good for them and good for the planet.

“This said, the recently announced shrimp and egg products are currently being tested in two European markets and will only be considered in our region in the near future.

“The good news, however, is that we know that our South African consumers are increasingly looking to include plant-based foods and beverages into their diets.

“Other consumers are interested in consciously adopting a flexitarian diet, others simply want to reduce their meat consumption.

“In South Africa, we currently offer the Harvest Gourmet range including the sensational burger, char-grilled pieces, and schnitzel, thus adding more healthy plant-based products to our portfolio as part of our efforts to offer improved taste experience and healthier choices for consumers,” she said.

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