The new products are ready-to-drink soups and drinks brand Xingshan, healthy snack box Green Bite and high-protein water Muscle Hunt.
Nestle China’s Incubator team was launched earlier this year, with the specific aim of expanding its local business as well as ‘filling gaps and responding quickly to China’s market needs in NPD’, said Nestle China Head of Innovation and Renovation, Justin Wang.
Rashid Aleem Qureshi, Nestle Greater China Chairman and CEO added that: “In response to the rapid changes in China’s Food and Beverage industry, Nestle has accelerated the improvement and testing of its innovation business model over the past two years.”
“Our innovation team, with over 100 ongoing projects, will bring consumers more choices through a variety of healthy products over the next two years.”
Nini Chiang, Nestle Greater China Chief Marketing Officer, added: “Nestle’s multidimensional innovation strategy is supported by three key levers.”
“[These are developing] the company’s basic operations through accelerated innovation and improvement, [enhancing] consumer experience through various approaches [like] consumption patterns and venues, and addressing new market needs through Nestle’s Incubator programme.”
China is Nestle’s second-largest market worldwide, and is ‘seeing strong and steady growth in the nutrition, health, and wellness segment’, according to the company’s official release.
New products targeting health and wellness segment
As such, all three new launches by Nestle Incubator are targeted to meet consumer health and wellness demands.
The Xingshan RTD range was developed based on traditional Chinese ingredients, with the support of Nestle R&D China.
These products act as health supplements, and include both sweet drink (e.g. Loquat and Honeysuckle, Honey and Inulin) and savoury soup (Chicken Broth with Ginseng, Chicken Broth with Jujube Date and Collagen) combinations.
According to Wang, other key traditional Chinese ingredients used were: White fungi, mushroom, chrysanthemum, figs, pomegranate, cordyceps, monkfruit, Solomon’s seal, goji berry and black garlic as well as collagen, rose and more.
Xingshan targets busy urban professionals. In response to queries on how this product benefits this target demographic, Zhao explained that the product helps to bolster the immune system.
“Following Swiss and Chinese research by Nestle, we have discovered that milk-protein emulsified goji berries can enable the natural antioxidative elements in the berries to be more easily absorbed by the human body,” said YouYou Zhao, Head of Science & Technology Catalyzer, Nestle R&D China.
“This in turn was found to strengthen the immune system, especially when dealing with seasonal influenza.”
The Muscle Hunt protein-water range targets fitness enthusiasts, containing high-grade whey protein isolate powder for protein replenishment post-workout.
The final product, Green Bite, is a ‘healthy snack box’ that boasts choices of over 30 high quality ingredients including dried fruits, nuts and chocolates. The main theme behind this product is personalisation, as it allows customers to customise their own snack boxes.
All three product ranges were supported by research and development from the Nestle R&D teams, and are available via e-commerce.
More on the Nestle Incubator team
The Incubator team in China is the second worldwide, coming after the first team established in the United States.
The primary target of the Incubator teams centre around accelerated innovation.
According to Nestle China: “The China market shares a similar direction as the Europe and US markets in terms of development, but the market is changing in a visibly faster and more challenging speed.
“The Nestle Incubator team comprises top professionals from Nestle with many years of FMCG experience and especially in NPD operations. There are also R&D experts, technical experts and more in the team,” said Wang.
“The key to Nestlé’s continuous success is based on its over 150 years of accurately anticipating consumer trends and quickly responding to them,” said Qureshi.
“The Nestlé Incubator program is rapidly turning innovative ideas into reality. We are seeing more and more groundbreaking ideas and changes here in China. It is a very exciting place to be.”
Wang also revealed that the Incubator team has plans to potentially release the results of four new projects next year.