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Nestlé eyeing launch of meat-free burgers, walnut milk

Nestlé SA is planning to launch veggie burgers and purple walnut milk as it seeks to capitalize on the booming vegan market, Bloomberg reported Dec. 28, citing an interview with Nestlé Chief Technology Officer Stefan Palzer.

"While digging deeper into consumer trends, we found they changed a bit in the last couple of years depending on how consumers define a healthy diet," Palzer told the news outlet.

The burger is expected to be introduced as the "Incredible Burger" under the Swiss food and drinks giant's Garden Gourmet label next spring, according to the report.

Nestlé is also exploring a purple-hued liquid derived from walnuts and blueberries and a blue latte containing spirulina algae, the report said.

The company believes its plant-based business will reach more than 1 billion Swiss francs in sales in 10 years, Bloomberg reported, citing Laurent Freixe, CEO of the Americas region at Nestlé.

Nestlé, whose products include Herta sausages and ham, is in a race against rival Unilever and newcomers such as Beyond Meat Inc., to find plant-based alternatives, the news wire added.

Last month, Unilever, whose listed entities are Unilever PLC and Unilever NV, agreed to acquire Netherlands-based meat substitutes distributor The Vegetarian Butcher BV, while California-based Beyond Meat filed for IPO in November 2018.