Nestlé Malaysia opens plant-based meals production site in ASEAN

RM150 million (US$36.2 million) invested into pioneering facility.

Nestlé Malaysia has launched its Plant-Based Meal Solutions manufacturing facility, which marks the first in ASEAN and one of only two in Asia. The new facility will cater to the rising demand for plant-based foods, and will supply local demand as well as exports. The company has also set a priority to encourage more consumption of plant-based food.

Nestlé Malaysia has invested a total of RM150 million (US$36.2 million) in this facility, which has been the main contributor to the RM280 million (US$67.6 million) capital expenditure in 2020, the highest in the last six years.

Chris Johnson, executive vice-president and CEO, zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa, Nestlé, commented: “We have chosen Malaysia, and Selangor, as the location of this new manufacturing hub, as we find here the right infrastructure, trade links and access to talent and capabilities.

“We are confident that with this new facility we will be able to capture the exciting growth opportunity for plant-based products in this region, which is a very important growth priority for the Nestlé Group worldwide.”

Located within Nestlé’s existing Shah Alam Industrial Complex in Selangor, the new production site, which a build-up area of approximately 6,000sqm, has an annual production capacity of 8,000 tonnes and is equipped with food processing machinery and automated packaging lines.

Juan Aranols, CEO for Nestlé Malaysia, added: “This production site in Shah Alam will allow us to supply locally produced, high-quality, great tasting and Halal certified plant-based meals. In the same way as it is happening in other parts of the world, Malaysians are becoming interested in exploring alternatives to meat consumption, either because of health reasons or for environmental considerations. For them, we have developed an exciting range of new products that provide a nutritional alternative supporting healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.

“To note also that, compared to the equivalent meat-based products, these plant-based solutions are also more sustainable as they have much lower carbon footprint and they require less use of natural resources such as water or land. By accelerating the roll-out of our plant-based food and beverages, we are taking steps to shape a more sustainable future for all.”

Nestlé’s new plant has already commenced production of its new Harvest Gourmet plant-based products for the out-of-home market, and is soon to launch its consumer range, to be available in retail nationwide and via eCommerce. Made with plant-based ingredients such as soy, wheat, beetroot, carrot, pomegranate and blackcurrant, all products are meat-free, high in protein, and a good source of fibre.

The range currently includes the Sensational Burger patty as well as Schnitzel, chargrilled pieces and ground mince products that can be integrated in home cooking recipes.