Nestle Launches Plant-Based Tuna

Aug. 20, 2020
Swiss launch of Garden Gourmet 'Vuna' is first of a handful of faux seafood products.

Nestlé announced the launch of a plant-based alternative to tuna, its first move into the growing market for plant-based seafood alternatives. It's being called Vuna and is under the Garden Gourmet brand in Switzerland, its only market for the time being.

"Made from a combination of only six plant-based ingredients, it is rich in nutritious pea protein, one of the most environmentally friendly sources of plant-based protein," Nestle said. "It contains all the essential amino acids and is free of artificial colorings or preservatives."

Nestlé says it developed the tuna alternative within nine months, leveraging its expertise in protein science and proprietary technologies. The company already offers a variety of plant-based products, alternatives to beef and chicken, including burgers, mince, meatballs, sausages, cold cuts, chicken nuggets and chicken filets.

The products are developed by Nestlé Research in Switzerland and its R&D centers in Germany and the U.S. To increase speed-to-market, products are rapidly prototyped and tested in selected retail outlets, and first commercial batches are produced in Nestlé R&D facilities.

The Swiss launch will feature both a chilled product, available in a glass jar, as well as plant-based tuna sandwiches in select stores. Further rollout plans will be announced.

The plant-based tuna alternative can be used in a wide range of dishes such as salads, sandwiches and pizzas. It has the flaky texture and rich flavor of tuna, the company says.

Stefan Palzer, Nestlé Chief Technology Officer, said other plant-based fish and shellfish alternatives are already under development.

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