Household Names Nestlé and Hershey Shift Toward a Vegan Future

Household Names Nestlé and Hershey Shift Toward a Vegan Future

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  • by Peter Manley

In recent news, Nestlé and Hershey have taken action in support of the vegan movement and market.

Hershey renews their commitment to no animal testing

In 2007, Hershey made a commitment to PETA not to fund, conduct, or support animal testing in any way when sourcing health claims about their products. While the brand held to their commitment for several years, they recently made public the ingredients and data needed for an experiment on mice. In this experiment, the mice were killed and their brains introduced to Alzheimer’s disease proteins along with Hershey cocoa extracts.   

On discovering this, PETA quickly got in touch with the company to question their violation of the previously made agreement. Within a short time, Hershey responded that the cocoa extracts and data were provided by one of their now-retired chemists, and that this was an unintended exception to their pledge. To confirm its support of animals and as a response to PETA, the company stated, “Hershey does not conduct animal testing for its products and continues to be committed to its stance on no animal testing.” Hershey also agreed to PETA’s request to include a public policy statement on their website saying that the company does not conduct, fund, or contribute to animal testing.

Nestlé drops lunch meat brand in hopes of strengthening their plant-based profile

In hopes of adapting to the world’s monumental shift toward veganism, Nestlé may sell their Herta brand lunch meat business to sharpen their focus on plant-based offerings and restructure their brand profile.

The brand has already made changes in recent years to offer more plant-based products. In September 2017, it purchased the vegetarian meat brand Sweet Earth, which produces ready-to-eat frozen vegetarian meals. Just last month, Nestlé also announced Incredible Burger, a plant-based burger (made from soy and wheat protein) to be launched this spring under the company’s Garden Gourmet brand.   

Nestlé has also been building a dairy-free profile. Last February, it purchased Terrafertil, a plant-based company that makes vegan milk. In America, Nestlé also owns Haagen-Dazs, which pioneered vegan ice cream in June 2017.

As the company moves forward, they plan to continue this shift toward plant-based foods and beverages. At a recent press conference, Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider said, “Inside food and beverage, if you think about today’s announcement on Herta, it really shows how we are positioning the company towards what is benefiting from higher growth and future areas such as plant-based offerings that are very much on-trend with where consumers are heading.”

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