Why this Registered Dietitian is Proud to Work for Nestlé
Our company is big and bold, and we can promote nutritious choices at scale
By Marlene Schmidt, Registered Dietitian for Nestlé’s Nutrition, Health and Wellness Center of Excellence
When my fellow dietitians hear that I work for Nestlé, they’re often surprised. Why, they wonder, would someone so devoted to nutrition work for ‘Big Food?’
The answer is pretty simple: I work for Nestlé precisely because of its size and commitment to improving nutrition. Nestlé’s scale — 97% of U.S. households purchase Nestlé brands — gives us a chance to make delicious, nutritious foods accessible to everyone. We also know we can lead and direct change that spans our entire industry.
I became a dietitian, in part, because I love food — pizza and sushi are two of my favorites — and I think everyone should have access to tasty, healthful, and affordable options. Nestlé makes this vision a reality. Across the world, Nestlé gives customers access to iron-fortified infant cereals, pints of smooth ice cream and savory pasta dishes filled with vegetables and lean protein, whether in their grocery stores or delivered right to their front doors.
In recent years, we’ve focused on improving nutrition and simplifying our recipes. We’re using ingredients that are kitchen staples while reducing fat, sodium, and sugar content. We’re also creating more protein, vegetable and plant-based recipes. In the past two years alone, we changed nearly 2,000 recipes to reduce sodium content, remove artificial colors and flavors, and increase essential nutrients.
Lean Cuisine Marketplace has introduced Coconut Chickpea Curry, a vegan, gluten-free Asian-inspired offering that delivers a burst of flavor. The recipe includes nutritious ingredients like tender organic chickpeas, juicy organic tomatoes, and long-grain brown rice in a Malaysian-style coconut curry sauce, and it delivers 19g of fiber and 12g of complete plant-based protein. We want families and individuals to feel like, even on their most hectic night, they have a hassle-free and nutritious option that’s worth looking forward to.
Though nutrition is top of mind, we won’t sacrifice taste. Ice cream lovers will know what I mean when they try our new Skinny Cow Protein Ice Cream Sandwiches with 8 grams of protein and less than 200 calories. The result is a delicious ice cream sandwich that you can feel good about.
Tapping new ingredient innovation, our new Natural Bliss all-natural creamers have added two honey-based creamers: Honey Cream and Honey Pecan. As a bonus, it contains 30% less sugar per serving than regular Natural Bliss creamers, making for a great addition to your morning cup of coffee or tea.
We’ve even reduced the sodium, trans fats, and artificial ingredients from our pizzas, while maintaining the same great taste. As a pizza lover, I’m delighted.
In addition to reworking our recipes, we’re updating our packaging with practical guidance to help families choose thoughtful portions. Our Thoughtful Portion recommendations shows visually what suggested portion actually looks like (no cryptic measurements) and may offer pairing suggestions with other foods. We’re offering this guidance on two-thirds of our foods and beverages, to make portion guidance easy to understand. Stouffer’s Family Size Lasagna, for instance, includes a visual of how to cut the platter into portions and pair with side dishes for a healthy meal.
Underscoring all our new menu options is our commitment to our consumer. We know tastes are changing rapidly, and we’re helping to deliver new flavors that will delight. We are committed to making tasty foods, with fresh ingredients, that you can feel good about feeding to your family.
At Nestlé, we believe our size and scale can be a force for good. We know that being the world’s largest food company comes with a lot of responsibility, and we take it seriously. We understand that our commitment to make a wide range of nutritious options is good for consumers and the food community we’re leading.
The food-lover in me also relishes the opportunity to help create exciting products that might just become your next favorite food. While as a dietitian I help our team continue to improve nutrition and wellness, as a fellow food lover, I’m thrilled that our latest additions to your shelves are also going to delight your taste buds.