Thai consumers are becoming more health-conscious especially when it comes to food choices. One of the trends that captures consumers’ interest is plant-based foods, which provide nutritional benefits of protein from plants. At present, it was found that more than 25 percent of Thai population have prioritized plant-based protein intakes. The percentage, however, does not represent only vegans and vegetarians, the trend has also been practiced by those who decide to cut down their meat intake due to health conscious reasons and those with beliefs to abstain from meat or to reduce meat intakes, as well as those with pro-environmental behaviors.
Embracing consumers’ growing appetite for tasty plant-based foods that also contain nutritional benefits, Nestlé (Thai) Co., Ltd. today announced its first move into the plant-based meat alternatives market in Thailand, through its global brand, HARVEST GOURMET™. Ms. Cruawan Varunpaichit, Business Executive Officer – Food and Nestlé Professional, Nestlé Indochina, said “As a Good food, Good life company, Nestlé is committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, and we are inspired by plant-based alternatives which contain nutritional benefits and are friendly to the environment. As a result, the company has consistently responded to this new consumption behavior of the consumers. The health and wellness trends are undeniably growing, which is a good sign as it means Thai people tend to take care of their health more. HARVEST GOURMET™ has brought together over 30 years of Nestlé’s expertise and research and development innovations accumulated globally to meet the needs of Asian consumers for an appetizing and nutritious plant-based dining experience. This year we are prioritizing the Asian market as it is deemed to be a highly potential setting. Therefore, it is the right time and a good opportunity to introduce HARVEST GOURMET™, the first plant-based brand under the roof of Nestlé to Thai consumers as a new food alternative that is nutritious, delicious and environmentally friendly.”
“HARVEST GOURMET™ offers plant-based foods innovation, meat–alternative products that are not compromising its surprising deliciousness with a similar taste, texture and cooking experience to that of meat.Our plant–based products are high in protein and a source of fiber with no preservatives or artificial flavors.The product portfolio comes in variety of options from burgers, mince, chargrilled pieces, schnitzel, to meatballs, which are made from natural soybeans and other plant-based ingredients such as beetroot concentrate and carrot extracts for natural colour and coconut oil for juiciness of meat–like textures.In this regard, our most recent manufacturing factory is based in Malaysia to cover the Southeast Asian market, and this can therefore guarantee that all products from HARVEST GOURMET™ will be definitely catered to the local taste of all Asians and Thais,” added Ms. Cruawan Varunpaichit.
Moreover, a survey indicated that the trend shift in Thai consumers towards healthy dietary choices with lower meat intake known as ‘Flexitarian’ involved two main groups, i.e.health enthusiasts (65%) and people on weight control diets (20%)*. Ms. Chantima Keayanon, Nutritionist, Nestlé (Thai) Co., Ltd. added in regard to nutritional benefits of plant-based foods “Plant-based is food or a diet consisting largely or solely of vegetables, grains, beans or other foods derived from plants. Soybean protein is a complete protein since it provides all of the essential amino acids for human nutrition. Therefore, it is recommended to eat a variety of plant-based foods which provide all other essential nutrients your body needs. Based on nutrition principles, our body requires 1 gram of protein per 1 kilogram of our weight as protein is a necessary nutrition bank for muscle gains and repair, and a source of energy when needed. Plant-based foods are one of healthy alternatives for consumers as they are high in protein and a source of fiber.”
Considering these factors, food service operators have opted to add more vegetarian menu items and plant-based protein options, with up to 65% and 32% increase** respectively — a way to shape positive attitudes towards plant-based foods for consumers.Additionally, an international survey revealed that consumers appeared to have positive perception towards restaurants that offer plant-based menu, as it provides more food choices for health-conscious consumers. Moreover, the promotion of these meat alternatives would uplift and modernize the brand image, as well as representing their concerns for the environment.***
With the marketing plans to be implemented during the launch of HARVEST GOURMET™, Nestlé (Thai) Co., Ltd. is now on set to offer the plant-based foods experience to Thai consumers through a collaboration with restaurant partners, starting from March 2021 onwards. This business model will surely steer forward the plant-based foods trend, making it become more popular and established to a greater extent.
For those businesses that are interested in plant-based foods by HARVEST GOURMET™, you can contact Nestlé Professional at 02-657-8625 ext. 1. Get updated and stay tuned for more menu from HARVEST GOURMET™ and our partners at https://www.nestleprofessional.co.th/harvest-gourmet.