EUROPE – Nestlé, the world’s largest food company has taken a major industry leap with the launch of two new Vegan chocolate chips under its Toll House brand, intended to add flavor to baking.
According to the company, the move followed the call to meet the demand for plant-based products for baking referring to a 2021 report by market research firm Mintel.
Mintel reported that about 48 percent of consumers are looking for products with a “plant-based” label hence becoming one of the biggest trends in baking.
Heeding the call, the company launched Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Plant-Based Morsels and Nestlé Toll House Dark Chocolate Plant-Based Morsels, each available in 9-ounce bags for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of US$5.19.
Chandra Kumar, President of Bakery Sweets at Nestlé USA, said that with their new plant-based morsels, even more people will be able to enjoy the iconic Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip cookie no matter their dietary preferences or restrictions.
In addition, Kumar said that as the founder of the chocolate chip morsel more than 80 years ago, Nestlé Toll House remains committed to creating great-tasting products that meet the needs of consumers’ evolving lifestyles.
However, Nestle revealed that even though the new Toll House chocolate chips do not contain animal products, they are not certified vegan.
The launch of the new dairy-free Toll House chocolate morsels follows several other recent plant-based additions to Nestlé’s global portfolio.
In 2021, Nestlé expanded the availability of its KitKat V to 15 countries across Europe last August. This vegan version made with rice milk carries an 18-percent lower carbon footprint than the original milk chocolate KitKat bars.
Further, in 2018, the company launched vegan chocolate chips in semi-sweet, dark chocolate, and white chocolate varieties. These baking chips were positioned as allergen-friendly options under the Simply Delicious line within the Toll House brand.
Last year, Nestlé also partnered with California-based company Perfect Day to explore the opportunities of its animal-free whey—which is made using precision fermentation instead of exploiting cows.
While the first products to market would be in an animal-free liquid milk format, the company hopes that the potential of this collaboration could result in new products in other categories, including its chocolate portfolio.