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Nestle launches vegan alternative to tuna

·1-min read
Staff holds a jar of Sensationnal Vuna at Nestle research center in Lausanne

Nestle launches vegan alternative to tuna

Staff holds a jar of Sensationnal Vuna at Nestle research center in Lausanne

ZURICH (Reuters) - Food giant Nestle <NESN.S> is launching a new plant-based tuna alternative in Switzerland this month ahead of a global rollout, hoping that consumers eating at home during the COVID-19 pandemic will stay eager to try new products.

Known for Maggi soups and bouillon cubes, Nestle has been investing in plant-based food to make its prepared dishes unit trendier and more appealing to consumers wishing to lower their meat intake.

The new "Garden Gourmet" tuna made with pea protein will be available in glass jars in the chilled aisle of Swiss supermarkets and can be used in salads, sandwiches and pizzas. Ready-to-eat sandwiches will also be sold in some stores, Nestle said.

Developed within nine months by Nestle's Swiss research facilities, the tuna is the group's first plant-based seafood product to hit the market. Soy-based burgers, mince meat, sausages and chicken nuggets are already available.

Nestle said last month that increased at-home consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand for its Garden Gourmet plant-based products in the first half of 2020.

The group's sales of plant-based meat alternatives reached around 200 million Swiss francs (167 million pounds) last year.

(Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz; Editing by Michael Shields)