By 2050, the world's population will approach 10 billion, and access to affordable, nutritious diets is already a serious challenge.
At the same time, consumers want healthier, natural and sustainable foods, and are shifting to plant-based or flexitarian diets, as well as embracing nutrition science for better health. In a similar way, pet nutrition is advancing too.
We can only meet people's needs through innovation, while protecting, renewing and restoring our environment and tackling climate change. At Nestlé we drive science and technology to develop food, beverage and nutritional health products for people and pets.
By transforming our portfolio in line with trends, we're launching tasty and healthy products with a better environmental footprint. Our plant-based foods are vital here, and 10% of R&D employees are active in this area.
In our kitchens, our R&D chefs play a vital role too. In plant-based and beyond, they're balancing creativity and science and using their knowledge of world cuisines to develop recipes, prototypes and products.
We've also developed plant-based alternatives to burgers, hotdogs, meatballs, sausages and ground beef for Nestlé brands worldwide. Plus, chicken nuggets, filet pieces, veggie-centric bakes and falafel.
For people who can't eat dairy or want to eat less, we're developing nutritious, great-tasting dairy- and lactose-free products with an improved environmental footprint, and we're testing technologies for animal-free dairy proteins.
Nestlé brands across the world now offer foods and beverages made from rice, oat, soy, peas, coconut and almond. Take Wunda for example. This versatile protein- and fiber-rich milk alternative uses yellow peas, which have a good environmental profile.
We've also developed C1 yogurts with Lj1 probiotic bacteria in Switzerland, plus dairy-free Milo in Asia, Starbucks non-dairy coffee creamers in the U.S., Nesfit rice-based and oat-based drinks in Brazil, and Nescafé cappuccinos and lattes. You can even enjoy a vegan break with KitKat V!
Today, 56% of people worldwide live on 2-10 USD per day. With this in mind, we're adjusting recipes and processes to address 'protein gaps' and using local ingredients to develop affordable, nutritious innovations.
We fortify products with locally relevant micronutrients too - to address deficiencies that particularly affect pregnant women and children.
Alongside this, we're also reducing salt, sugar and saturated fats across our portfolio - while adding nutritious ingredients like wholegrains.
Meeting local needs
Our R&D Center in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire takes the lead on developing affordable, nutritious products. Adapting solutions for specific markets requires local expertise, consumer insight and entrepreneurship. This is why we partner with universities, young scientists and startups in sub-Saharan Africa.
Recent launches include Lactogen milk powders, a sorghum-based porridge from our Golden Morn brand in Central and West Africa, Nestlé EveryDay in Eastern and Southern Africa, and Bunyad Iron+, in Pakistan.
Nutrition and health
We're researching and developing nutritional solutions to promote good health from pre-conception through to old age.
Our programs cover gastrointestinal health, nutrition and dietary recommendations, metabolic health, brain health, healthy aging and personalized nutrition.
Here are a few of the areas we're currently researching and developing.
Maternal and infant nutrition
By looking at how the mother's diet influences her breast milk composition and overall health, we're exploring ways to optimize this.
Working with the EpiGen Global Research Consortium, Nestlé scientists developed and tested a nutritional supplement for pregnant women that led to a significantly decreased incidence of preterm birth.
To help reduce the risk of breast pain and mastitis, we've launched a probiotic-based supplement for lactating mothers, Materna Opti-Lac.
In infant nutrition, one of our recent advances is using Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) - which support an infant's intestinal function and immune system - in infant formulas. Our most advanced products now contain a complex of five HMOs .
Probiotics for digestion and wellbeing
For people and pets, we're translating our microbiome research into prebiotic, probiotic and symbiotic products that help maintain healthy digestion and wellbeing.
One example is Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care for dogs, while we've valorized a probiotic side stream for use in Garden of Life food supplements.
Supporting healthy aging
By exploring the relationship between nutrition and aging, we're looking at the mitochondrial function of cells and developing Nestlé Health Science products to support healthy aging. We're focusing on muscle, joint and bone health as well as brain and metabolic health.
Launched in the U.S., Celltrient Cellular Nutrition is a breakthrough nutritional supplement. It uses cellular nutrients to support mitochondrial health and helps address age-associated cellular decline.
Adult milk drink, Yiyang Active, is another recent product. Featuring ingredients that support bone health, muscle strength and joint functionality, this milk is clinically proven to enhance mobility during aging. It's also the first Nestlé product to win approval as a functional food in China.
Personalized nutrition is another research priority for us. We're currently developing solutions for people with shared characteristics including age and biological sex.
For example, Nestlé Health Science recently launched its first pre-diabetes program in Malaysia. Nutren GlucoSmart is a supplement containing a mulberry leaf extract that can be sprinkled over meals to help maintain normal blood glucose levels.
By exploring more advanced levels of personalization, we're bringing together our research into dietary patterns, genetics, the microbiome and metabolic response.