When we were offered an opportunity to take a look at one of the busiest kitchens in the city, we knew that tasting foods would be involved. But what we were also pleasantly surprised about, on a recent visit to Nestle’s HQ was that we would gain insight into the company’s philosophy and continuous efforts on their products.
As you may recall, we have written an initial post a couple of months ago about some of the changes that we’re just starting to notice on the shelves in our supermarkets. Now that we’re starting to think about back to school, we had a chance to dig a littler deeper to find out more about the direction the company is taking here and globally. So, we had a chance to meet with the nutritionists, dieticians and research & development team to ask a few questions.
Nestle has made some significant changes particularly in the past year that affect farmers right through to the consumer. The most recent initiative includes the portion option on the Smarties while still offering choice and control to the consumer. How did Nestle as a corporation make these choices of change?
Nestlé Canada’s vision is to be Canada’s number one food and beverage company helping Canadians live healthier and happier lives. On a global level, Nestlé has made a significant number of Nutrition, Health & Wellness commitments, which are being implemented around the world. Our commitments relate directly to our material issues, which are those issues that are most relevant to our business and stakeholders, and help drive continuous improvement.
For example, by the end of 2014, we committed to only selling children’s products that meet our nutritional criteria for an individual portion. For Smarties, this meant incorporating portion guidance indicators on our regular and seasonal products, and discontinuing other products, such as the king size Smarties box. These decisions are a reflection of how dedicated we are to bringing this commitment to life and to doing the right thing.
Can you tell us more about the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation and how you work alongside government mandates?
Our focus is on making our products the healthiest and tastiest they can be. We’ve established our own Nestlé Nutrition Foundation (NF) criteria to ensure our products offer superior nutritional value. NF criteria are category and age-specific, addressing nutritional factors such as calories, sodium, trans fat, saturated fat, added sugar, and in some cases, the presence of positive nutrients. Based on recommendations from leading health institutes, such as the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine, our products are constantly re-assessed based on current scientific knowledge.
One point that stands out is Nestlé’s mention of new commitments in the area of responsible marketing to children. Do you have a recent example of this that is already visible to consumers?
One of the most important responsible marketing plans we practice is actually invisible to consumers – the fact that we do not market confectionary products to children under 12. Although marketing to children is a tactic many companies employ, at Nestlé Canada, we’re proud to have a very strict policy against it, ensuring parents are the lone authority of their children’s nutritional choices.
As mentioned, we had a chance to try some pretty yummy recipes that were in development at the test kitchen as well as a tour of the research and development offices. It was interesting to see a few food scientists working as well as learning how testing is done before food products get to our store shelves. We had a chance to sample both savoury and sweet recipes and a few that incorporated international flavours that includes spices like red chile adobo and fire roasted poblano peppers that would be used in dips and sauces. They are constantly working with dieticians and nutritionists while also staying on top of recommendations and food trends.
This new recipe is right on point with a great way to use avocados and chia seeds. Chia is considered a superfood. It’s small but mighty! Great for brainpower! It’s Omega-3 properties is critical for brain function and is packed with protein and is nutrient dense making it a satisfying addition to your day. The balance of the Nequik is great as it has just a touch of sweetness and the flavours all balance out nicely for a great snack for you and the kids.NESQUIK AVOCADO PUDDING WITH MANGO CHIA JAM: Serves 4 (1/2 cup) servings
- 2 ripe medium-sized avocados, pitted and peeled
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogourt
- 8 tbsps NESQUIK powder with 33% Less Sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
Mango Chia Jam:
- 1 large mango, pitted and peeled
- 1 1/2 tsps chia seeds
- Toasted coconut for garnish
1 Add the avocado and yogourt into a food processor and process until very smooth. Then add the NESQUIK, vanilla, and salt and continue to process until combined. Stop the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed
2. Transfer the pudding into a bowl and chill in the fridge for about an hour.
3. While the pudding is chilling, wash the food processor and begin making the jam. Add the mango to the food processor and puree until smooth. Then add the chia seeds and blend for a couple of seconds. Transfer the jam into a bowl and chill in the fridge with the pudding.
4. Once the pudding and jam are chilled, serve a half-cup portion of pudding with some of the mango jam and toasted coconut. Enjoy!
Note: This is best enjoyed within 24 hours for optimal flavour.
You can find other great recipes here for everyday and for entertaining at www.nestlegoodfoodgoodlife.ca
This post was sponsored by Nestle, but the opinions and images are my own.