‘Go Vegetal’: Nestlé’s plant-based Nesquik hits Europe

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

In Spain, the new SKU will be branded 'Nesquik Go Vegetal'. Image source: Nestlé
In Spain, the new SKU will be branded 'Nesquik Go Vegetal'. Image source: Nestlé

Related tags: Nestlé, plant-based

Following the US launch of Nesquik GoodNes in January this year, food and beverage major Nestlé is bringing its plant-based ready-to-drink beverage to Europe.

Nestlé has significantly developed its Nesquik range over the last couple of years. In early 2019, the food and beverage giant launched a new variety of the ‘classic’ chocolate powder in innovative packaging.

The recipe for Nesquik All Natural was developed in response to growing demand for natural products, the Swiss company said at the time​, and contains just five ingredients: cane sugar, cocoa, emulsifier, natural flavour, and cinnamon. Nesquik All Natural’s packaging is made out of a paper material that is both plastic-free and fully recyclable.

In January 2020, Nestlé rolled out a plant-based RTD version in the US under the brand name ‘Nesquik GoodNes’. The product is based on oats and peas.

And now, a plant-based version of Nesquik – similarly based on oats and peas – is hitting Europe. In Spain, which is one of the first countries to see the new SKU on-shelf, the beverage will be branded ‘Nesquik Go Vegetal’. Different brand names will be chosen for different markets.

The plant-based offering will also be rolled out in Portugal and Hungary, before entering ‘other European countries’. When asked why Nestlé had selected these three countries to kick off the launch, a company spokesperson said first launch countries can differ for a number of reasons. “Often the decision is taken in the market. The product will be launched across a wider range of countries.”

Analysing the product’s back-of-pack information, the ingredients list reads: water, sugar, oats, pea protein, cocoa, natural flavour, gellan gum, and salt.

From a nutritional perspective, the new plant-based Nesquik contains 5.8g of sugars per 100ml, which is significantly less than the ‘classic’ version. The mainstream RTD Nesquik in Italy, for example, contains 9.9g of sugar per 100ml, we were told.

Comparing fat content between these two SKUs, the new plant-based Nesquik contains 0.5g of fat with 0.1g of saturated fat. The mainstream RTD contains 1.2g of fat with 0.7g of saturated fat. The plant-based alternative is lower in both fibre (0.6g vs 0.7g) and protein (2.2g vs 3.9g).

The spokesperson assured us the ‘Nesquik taste’ has been achieved in this latest plant-based version, in part due to its cocoa content. “The Nesquik taste comes from the cocoa and flavour and we’re proud to have that great taste in this product.”

The spokesperson continued: “This is for everyone who enjoys the taste of Nesquik and is looking for more plant-based products in their diet. Like with all our products we work hard to have good nutritionals, including high-quality sources of plant protein.”  

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