China Food

Nestle China “drank” Oatmeal Milk in a low-key way and entered the territory of oatly for the first time

Although the current repeated epidemic has posed a great challenge to the “big customer” coffee shop of oat milk, it does not seem to have caused Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, to press the “pause button”. On the contrary, Nestle is entering China’s oat milk market in a low-key way and has a positive confrontation with players such as oatly and Yili. Snack generation noticed that two Nestle Oatmeal Milk – “Nestle oatmeal coffee maker version” and “Nestle super Oatmeal Milk” appeared on the e-commerce platform recently. “This is the first time Nestle China has launched oat milk products.” When replying to the snack agent’s inquiry today, the company said that the two products were launched in March and may this year.

“We think now is the right time to enter the track.” Nestle China revealed that it plans to launch more kinds of plant drinks next. Let’s have a look.

“Two hands”

Like the idea of plant meat, Nestle also needs to “grasp” the b-end and C-end when selling oat milk. Xiaoshidai learned today that the above two products focus on different channels. Among them, “Nestle oatmeal coffee maker version” is supplied to b-end catering merchants. “Nestle Super Plus oat milk” focuses on e-commerce and other C-end channels, aiming at home drinking scenes.

“Nestle Super Plus Oatmeal Milk” currently has a discount price of about 39 yuan for 1-liter e-commerce. Compared with most products on the market, the price is not low. Although the channels are different, both products aim at drinking with coffee and tea. This is one of the most mainstream consumption occasions of oat milk at present, and it is also a key consideration when Nestle develops products. Taking the “Nestle oatmeal coffee maker version” as an example, the company said that this product “was developed by the coffee maker and tailored for the coffee maker”. Its features include “fresh wheat flavor, natural sweetness and smooth taste”, “will not mask the flavor of coffee and tea”, “the foam used for flower pulling has superior fineness and stability”, etc. When it comes to the reasons for entering oat milk, Nestle China told xiaoshidai that this category has grown very fast and continues to grow in recent years. The layout of many brands has cultivated consumers’ drinking habits and jointly promoted the development of categories.

According to AI media consulting data, the market scale of oat milk in China reached 1.75 billion yuan in 2020, with a year-on-year growth rate of 153.6%. In 2021, the scale of the market also more than doubled, with a year-on-year growth rate of 141.7%. The agency pointed out this year that it is expected that the market scale of oat milk will maintain an upward trend year by year in the next four years, with a year-on-year growth rate of about 50%. “The vigorous development of this category reflects that more and more Chinese consumers are not only pursuing a healthy diet, but also paying attention to the impact on the environment. Nestle has always been optimistic about and attached importance to the development of plant-based foods and drinks.” The company said.

a situation of tripartite confrontation

In China, which has a long history of drinking vegetable milk, the oat milk plate regarded as “fresh blood” is still not large, but there are not a few people who want to “have a share”. At present, market players can be roughly divided into three groups. First, traditional players who focus on vegetable milk, such as oatly and Vitasoy. Second, large food and beverage manufacturers, such as Nestle, Danone and Yili. Third, start-ups focusing on this segment of the track, including oatoat, wheat Ouye, etc.

Behind this “excitement”, the rise path of oat milk is actually different from traditional vegetable protein drinks such as soybean milk and coconut milk. In the past, these traditional products usually preempted scenes such as festival gifts and drinking with meals, and their positioning was biased towards ready to drink drinks. Oatmeal Milk is more inclined to benchmark milk. It is commonly used as milk cover or flower pulling, brewing coffee or tea, which makes it find a place in the scene originally occupied by milk. With reference to the considerable market capacity and wide use of milk, it also opens a greater imagination space for oat milk to a certain extent. Nowadays, oat milk is still in its infancy in China, and manufacturers are constantly making moves to seize the market. For example, after the coffee shop “out of the circle”, oatly, the world’s largest oat milk company, can’t wait to replicate its successful experience in tea shops. Xiaoshidai introduced that the company recently launched a “tea master Oatmeal Milk” specially designed for high-quality tea drinks in China. The product launched in cooperation with shuyishaoxiancao has “become one of the best-selling drinks (the latter) within 10 days, with a sales volume of more than 1 million cups”.

Toni Petersson, chief executive of oatly, said that the market size of China’s boutique tea is expected to be twice that of boutique coffee. Oatly will further develop the “tea master” market in the future. At present, oatly has also received “strong interest” and orders from other chain brands.

More local new products

In fact, before “drinking” oat milk this time, Nestle China had many years of operation experience in the field of plant protein drinks. Previously, Nestle once wholly controlled Yinlu, which owns peanut milk, but announced the sale of Yinlu peanut milk and canned Babao porridge in China in 2020, on the grounds that it can focus more on key areas such as infant nutrition, candy and coffee.

Globally, Nestle has more “chips” in its hands and has accelerated its layout in recent years. According to Nestle’s official data found by snack generation, in 2019, the company launched a plant protein beverage ninho Forti + integrating oats and peas in Brazil, and the first pure pea protein beverage nesfit Sabor natural was launched the following year. Also in 2020, Nestle launched Nesquik goodnes, a plant-based beverage made of oats and peas in the United States. By 2021, the Swiss food giant even rarely created a new brand “wunda” to sell pea protein drinks. In a release, Nestle also substituted wunda into many milk drinking scenes, including direct drinking, pouring on cereal, making hot drinks, sending bubbles, cooking and so on. At present, the brand has entered many European countries and has not been introduced into China.

Interestingly, when wunda was listed last year, C é dric Boehm, head of Nestle’s dairy industry in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, said in an interview with the financial times that nestle had considered acquiring plant-based beverage brands, but “the price is too high, and there is a round of M & A boom in the market”. Boehm also said in the interview that nestle hopes to achieve further growth in the vegetable milk market, and wunda can also expand to categories other than peas. “If we don’t believe we can be winners, we won’t enter (the market)”. In China, Nestle also has plans to extend its tentacles into more sub categories. The company revealed to xiaoshidai today that it will continue to expand its vegetable milk product line in the future. “We will not be limited to oats, but there will be more new concepts, such as using different protein sources, launching different flavors, etc.”.

It is worth noting that fitting the local taste will also become one of the key words of Nestle’s Chinese vegetable milk. “A successful product needs to meet the tastes of local consumers.” Nestle China said it would develop products suitable for local consumers in China with the help of Nestle’s global and local R & D resources in the future.

Plant based expansion


This cut into the oat milk track is also the latest attempt of Nestle in huajiama plant base. Previously, the food giant has invested and built its first plant-based product production line in Asia in Tianjin, and then launched a variety of plant meat through the “Jiazhi cuisine” brand, covering plant chicken, plant beef, plant seafood and so on. Standing on the plant-based tuyere, Nestle now not only wants to expand the “new favorites” of plant meat and plant milk, but also is promoting the integration of plant-based trend into other categories. Snack generation introduced in April this year that Nestle’s Nescaf é Dolce gusto recently launched a series of plant-based coffee products in China for the first time, and officially introduced three new plant-based latte coffee capsules.

Nestle coffee duoqukusi capsule coffee machine and 3 new plant-based coffee capsules

“We see that plant-based products in foreign markets have become a growth potential force, and we also see the rapid popularity of flavors such as oats and raw coconut in the domestic market. Therefore, we have taken advantage of the trend to introduce a series of plant-based coffee products from abroad.” Joe Ruilin, head of Nestle coffee Duoqu cool, once told the snack generation. In fact, in foreign countries, Nestle, which has a huge product line, has launched a variety of “plant-based versions”, including coffee creamer, instant latte, Qiqiao chocolate biscuit, carnation condensed milk and so on.

Behind such a positive “offensive”, Nestle CEO Mark Schneider publicly said more than once that plant-based products are “only once in a lifetime” in terms of upgrading the food industry. Fran ç OIS Xavier Roger, chief financial officer of Nestle, also pointed out this year that he would seize the trend of plant-based food and carry out rapid innovation to better capture opportunities. According to Nestle’s 2021 financial report, its plant-based food achieved an organic growth of 16.8% last year, with a sales scale of 800 million Swiss francs (about 5.6 billion yuan).

Pay attention to “snack generation” (wechat: foodinc) “and reply to” Nestle “to see the wonderful news.

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