Vuna plant-based seafood alternative (Nestlé)

Published: 1 Sep 2020
Type: Case study


Vuna is the latest innovation in Nestlé’s plant-based product portfolio, which includes burgers, mince, meatballs, sausages, cold cuts, chicken nuggets, and chicken filets. Made from a combination of only five plant-based ingredients, Vuna is a plant-based seafood alternative suitable for vegans. With a high content of pea proteins, Vuna contains all the essential amino acids and is free of artificial colorings or preservatives. It is one of the most environmentally friendly sources of plant-based protein, which can help reduce overfishing and protect ocean biodiversity.

Partners involved

This project involved around 300 R&D scientists, engineers and product developers located in eight Nestlé R&D Centers dedicated to the research and development of plant-based products. The company also collaborates strategically with researchers, suppliers, start-ups, and various other innovation partners.


In the 2-week period following the August launch in Switzerland, Vuna received strong positive sentiment through online and social media with more than 1,870 mentions and 400 articles following its announcement. Overall consumer feedback has been extremely positive with Vuna gaining the supermarket COOP online consumer rating of 4.5. In Switzerland, Vuna received strong coverage by national broadcasters, and most major print and online media outlets. Vuna also received international coverage in mainstream wires, including Bloomberg and Reuters, as well as a wide range of further mainstream and specialist publications and portals.


Taste, texture and scalability at a market level have been the three main challenges faced. Nestlé has developed a proprietary technology to remove the intrinsic bitterness of the peas naturally and ensure consumer acceptability. It has used a proprietary, patented wet extrusion technology to address consumer expectations in terms of texture. The company’s expertise in protein science and extrusion technology and its infrastructure have allowed it to scale rapidly from bench to kitchen.

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