Back in March, our CEO Stefano Agostini outlined how 2018 would be a year of change at Nestlé UK and Ireland. He said: “We want to provide great tasting products, that people enjoy but we also want to make them healthier wherever we can. We will be doing more than ever to improve our much loved products, and launch new ones.” He wasn’t wrong. Here are just ten of the innovative ways that Nestlé UK & Ireland changed in 2018.
1. Nitrogen infused coffee
A smooth coffee drink, infused with nitrogen, was this year’s big news for our Nescafé Azera brand. Available in Americano, Latte and on tap through our Nestlé Professional team, Nescafé Azera Nitro hit stores before the summer to offer the perfect chilled accompaniment to the 2018 heatwave.
2. High tech sugar
They said it couldn’t be done but Nestlé’s Milkybar Wowsomes became the first chocolate bar in the world to use an innovative sugar reduction technique which means it has 30% less sugar than similar chocolate products. Available in milk and white chocolate and a number of different sizes these ground breaking little treats hit supermarket shelves in April.
3. A new chocolate on your KitKat
It’s a KitKat that’s pink but it isn’t flavoured with strawberry, raspberry or cherry. This was a brand new type of ruby chocolate from Barry Callebaut moulded in the familiar four finger shape of a KitKat. The UK became the first market in Europe to try this particular innovation thanks to KitKat Ruby which proved very popular with KitKat fans.
4. Food fit for a flexitarian
Garden Gourmet was brand new to the UK when it was launched in May. It brought with it a range of delicious meat-free meals that don’t compromise on taste. Paula Jordan, MD of our Food Division, said that “meat-free doesn’t have to mean excitement free” and the MailOnline certainly agreed when it gave Garden Gourmet’s Simply Mince a perfect 10/10 rating in September.
5. Unique premium chocolate new to the UK
Also new to this market for 2018 was our Les Recettes de L’Atelier range of premium chocolate bars. The innovative way these blocks are made, with fruit and nut inclusions, means that each square is completely unique and has a handmade, artisanal feel. It appeared on these shores in January in seven delicious flavours including ‘orange zest & cacao nibs’ and ‘blueberries, almonds and hazelnuts.’
6. A digital warehouse of the future
Robots and autonomous vehicles will play a major role in this future innovation that was announced in June. A new digital warehouse will be co-created by Nestlé and XPO Logistics with a scheduled completion of 2020. The 638,000 square-foot distribution centre will open at the SEGRO East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park in Leicestershire.
7. 100% oat Cheerios
Nestlé Cereals Marketing Director, Toby Baker, said in November: “Oats are increasingly becoming a popular addition to Brits’ diets but so many consumers we’ve spoken to just don’t like porridge.” Enter Nestlé Oat Cheerios, a new cereal made with 100 per cent British-grown whole grain oats with the delicious taste and texture of Cheerios.
8. KitKat soap?
Your favourite chocolate bar to be enjoyed in the shower or bath courtesy of KitKat soap. Imagine being able to simultaneously wash yourself and enjoy a bathroom treat all from a hybrid soap/chocolate bar. Unfortunately, imagination was absolutely key after this particular innovation turned out to be less than real when it was unveiled on April 1st.
9. Powered by the wind
From 2018, half of all Nestlé’s annual electricity demands have been met by a new wind farm which, in partnership with Community Windpower, opened in Scotland in July. Its nine turbines, producing 125GWh of power each year are additional capacity for the National Grid following Nestlé’s move to procure 100% renewable grid supplied electricity back in 2016.
10. Yes! to fruits, nuts and vegetables
September saw Nestlé’s exciting new snacks brand, YES! hit the market in a range of fruit and vegetable and fruit and nut bars. Diverse tastes like ‘apple and beetroot’ and ‘lemon, quinoa and chilli’ sit alongside ‘sea salt, dark choc and almond’ and ‘coffee, cherry and dark chocolate’ to create a range of delicious bars specially designed to remove the compromise of snack time.