But our global brands are also evolving fast, and connecting with consumers in new ways. Take Maggi, for example. Nestlé India’s recent Maggi Masalas of India noodle range was inspired by the cuisines of Punjab, Mumbai, Chennai and West Bengal. This offering, where we use herbs and spices from regional cuisines in a global brand, is a great example of how we dial local consumer tastes and preferences into innovation, driven by our teams on the ground.
More broadly, we’re innovating through the Maggi ‘Simply Good‘ initiative, transforming the brand’s products by simplifying its recipes. We’re removing ingredients that consumers don’t easily recognize and adding more of those that they do, such as vegetables, herbs and spices.
We know that tastes are changing faster than ever before. Our consumers want delicious foods that are also healthy and convenient. We also understand that if we want to compete — and win — in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace, we have to constantly innovate to meet these shifting tastes. To do that, we’re launching new products, evolving brands you know and love, and making bold acquisitions. By doing so, we’re prepared to meet consumers’ needs not just today, but for years to come.
Here are some of today’s food trends and how Nestlé is meeting them head on:
1. Ideas born locally and scaled globally
Around the world, Nestlé is fueled by an incredible 323,000 employees, each of whom has their own cultural connection to food and unique viewpoint. That gives us an incredible opportunity to tap into new flavors, customs, and ways of thinking. Empowering our teams to innovate locally has helped Nestlé unlock creative approaches to product development, while elevating local flavors and incorporating them into our products, just like our Maggi Masalas of India launch.
Similarly, our new line of Outsiders Pizza, created by USA employees at the grassroots level, lets regional flavors shine. These frozen pizzas are modeled on recipes that were initially created in American cities like Detroit and Milwaukee, which have strong, but under-respected, pizza traditions.
The locally driven Outsiders is an example of an innovative team operating in Nestlé’s new internal incubator model. The team is made up of a small group of employees from across Nestlé coming together to work on a special project. They operate like a start-up while leveraging Nestlé’s resources to go from idea to shelf in nine months. The result is a tasty new product that quickly lands on grocery stores shelves.
2. Nutrition, taste, and convenience shouldn’t have to be a trade-off
People want meal options that are delicious, nutritious and hassle-free. We’re committed to meeting this need by offering products that offer taste and convenience, while also providing vital nutrients.
New organic breakfast cereals from Chocapic, Nesquik and Cheerios make it easier for parents to jumpstart a child’s day, by providing wholegrain as the No.1 ingredient and with no artificial colors or preservatives. Our cereals help refuel body and brain, and meet the growing demand for organic options.
Both Maggi and Lean Cuisine aim to make preparing a healthy, tasty dinner as easy as possible.
In Australia, Maggi aims to make weeknight cooking achievable through its Marketplace line. With its stir-fry mixes, home cooks can have a honey-soy dish with your choice of meat and veggies on the table in just 10 minutes. And, Lean Cuisine’s Origins products marry sophisticated flavors with the nutrition and convenience consumers expect from the brand. A tasty meal can be ready in no time at all!
3. Plant-based foods are blooming
The popularity of plant-based foods is growing, with more households following a 'flexitarian' diet. Research from Dataessential has found that 59% of consumers eat meatless meals once a week, plant-based foods are expected to fuel a USD 5 billion marketplace by 2020.
To meet that need, and satisfy this growing market, we’ve leveraged innovative teams to launch new products, such as the Coffee-mate Natural Bliss plant-based creamers with almond milk and coconut milk. Lean Cuisine also now offers several plant-based meal options ranging from Coconut Chickpea Curry to Sicilian-Style Pesto with Lentil Pasta. And our Garden Gourmet range brings plant-based products to Europe and the Middle East.
To take our plant-based offerings even further, we recently acquired Sweet Earth Foods, a plant-based foods company that launched in 2011. We’re working with the Sweet Earth team to bring their delicious offerings to even more people. We also took a majority stake in Terrafertil, a natural foods company and main global producer of goldenberries. With this new investment, we are very well positioned to be the leader in the plant-food based segment in Zone Americas with the addition of the Nature's Heart and Essential Living Foods brands.
Through acquisitions, updated recipes and new products, Nestlé is making it clear that when consumers have a need or want, we’re ready to fill it. It’s not enough to simply 'monitor' food and beverage trends. We’re listening, engaging, and leading the way to satisfy your culinary cravings.