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Nestlé Malaysia opens its first plant-based meals production site in Asean

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KUALA LUMPUR: Nestle S.A, through Nestlé (Malaysia) Bhd, has launched its pioneering plant-based meal solutions manufacturing facility in Shah Alam, Selangor, the group's first in Asean and one of only two in Asia.

Nestle Malaysia invested RM150 million in the facility, which has been the main contributor to the RM280 million capital expenditure in 2020, the company's highest in the last six years.

The new facility in Shah Alam will cater to the rising demand for plant-based foods and will supply local demand as well as exports.

Nestle vice president and chief executive officer for Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa Chris Johnson said it had chosen Malaysia, and Selangor particularly, for the new manufacturing hub as it had the right infrastructure, trade links and access to talent and capabilities.

"We also build on Nestlé's 108 years of successful presence in Malaysia. 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,' he said in a statement.

Nestle Malaysia CEO Juan Aranols said the production site would allow it 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 an excellent nutritional alternative supporting healthier and more sustainable lifestyles," Aranols said at the launch today.

Compared to the equivalent meat-based products, he said these plant-based solutions were also more sustainable as they have a 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," he added.

The launch was officiated by the Selangor ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

Located within Nestlé's existing Shah Alam Industrial Complex, the site with a build-up area of 6,000 square metres, has an annual production capacity of 8,000 tonnes and is equipped with the latest food processing machinery and highly automated packing lines.

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 high-quality 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 easily integrated in home cooking recipes.