Today Nestlé announced it would launch two new products featuring its Sweet Earth Awesome Grounds plant-based beef. The Digiorno Rising Crust Meatless Supreme and Stouffer’s Meatless Lasagna come from two brands in Nestlé’s portfolio.
Sweet Earth was acquired by Nestlé in 2017. The company’s plant-based Awesome Burger and Awesome Grounds, both made with pea protein, launched in U.S. supermarkets this October. Now it seems Nestlé is experimenting with where else it can put Awesome to work.
Honestly, I’m surprised this sort of vertical integration hasn’t happened earlier with alternative protein. It’s a win-win for Nestlé. The Swiss CPG giant can leverage the popularity of its frozen products to give its newer plant-based meat brand a wider audience. In turn, it can use its new meat-free products to tap into the flexitarian market and attract new vegetarian consumers.
Considering how crowded retail shelves are becoming with plant-based burgers — with startups, grocery stores, and major corporations all launching their own alt-meat products — Nestlé is smart to cross-pollinate to try and give the Sweet Earth brand a leg up.
I wouldn’t be surprised if other Big Food brands follow suit. For example, Kellogg’s could put its Morningstar Incogmeato ground “meat” in a new line of breakfast sandwiches. Similarly, Unilever could add plant-based offerings from the Vegetarian Butcher, which the corporation bought last year, into any number of its food brands.
Both the frozen pizza and lasagna will be available on Amazon Fresh in Spring 2020. If that seems too long to wait to get your mitts on some meatless microwaveable lasagna, you can visit TryItMeatless.com tomorrow (Dec. 5) and enter to win a chance to try them before they hit the market.