VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle SA pulled two plant-based alternative brands — Garden Gourmet and Wunda — from the United Kingdom market during the first quarter of this year. During a conference call with securities analysts to discuss first-quarter results, one analyst asked if the withdrawals signaled a change in Nestle’s plant-based alternative go-to-market strategy.
The Garden Gourmet discontinued products included meat alternatives while Wunda is a pea-based beverage that was launched in the United Kingdom in May 2021.
“We continue to be very enthusiastic about the mid- to long-term growth prospects here,” said Ulf Mark Schneider, chief executive officer, during the April 25 conference call. I think the two … were more tactical moves that don't take away from our long-term enthusiasm.”
Mr. Schneider said that while Garden Gourmet has a strong presence in continental Europe, the brand was struggling with a “below-scale presence and shelf presence in the UK.
“… We were struggling for a few quarters, and we felt that there is no immediate path to success here and, hence, we retreated.”
Regarding Wunda, he said the company still believes in the product, but that the brand’s three stock-keeping unit line was not working.“… We're looking at other ways to reach the consumers either through specialties or through our professional distribution channel,” Mr. Schneider said. “And, again, this is not taking away from the long-term growth prospects of this, but the UK market definitely does have a very competitive environment for plant-based and it just turned out that our current go-to-market strategy was not best geared to that.”