Over the last few years, veggie burgers have nearly gone mainstream. But Nestlé’s new vegan tuna — aka Sensational Vuna — will be a whole new taste sensation for vegans and non-vegans alike. The product will hit Swiss markets this year, then roll out globally.
Sensational Vuna includes six ingredients: water, pea protein, wheat gluten, rapeseed oil, salt and a natural flavor blend. Free from preservatives and artificial colorings, the alterna-tuna contains all essential amino acids. Food scientists devised the product to have a flaky tuna texture and to suit recipes for salads, sandwiches and even pizzas, according to a Nestlé news release.
Nestlé’s first foray into the plant-based seafood market is great news for overfished tuna species. “Sustainably produced plant-based seafood alternatives can help to reduce overfishing and to protect the biodiversity of our oceans,” Stefan Palzer, Nestlé’s Chief Technology Officer, said in the news release. “Our plant-based tuna alternative is delicious, nutritious and high in protein. We are excited to launch this great product, and other plant-based fish and shellfish alternatives are already under development.”
Over the past few years, Nestlé has immersed itself into the plant-based meat sector. The Swiss company acquired veg brand Sweet Earth in 2017, using its plant-based meats to revamp classics like DiGiorno and Stouffer’s pizzas. Sensational Vuna will be part of Nestlé’s Garden Gourmet brand, joining Sensational Sausage, Sensational Burger, Sensational Chorizo and Sensational Mince. Originally, the burger was called Incredible and featured as part of the German McDonald’s Big Vegan TS burger. But after a Dutch judge ruled that the Incredible Burger trod on competitor Impossible Foods’ name and branding, Nestlé reclassified the brand as Sensational.
Swiss stores will launch Vuna in two forms — in a refrigerated glass jar and as part of premade plant-based tuna sandwiches. In addition to European and American markets, Nestlé also has its sights set on China. The company plans to invest more than $100 million in expanded manufacturing within the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area in China and hopes to introduce its plant-based meats to the Chinese public later in 2020.
Images via Nestlé