Interview: Nestlé’s new OUTSHINE fruit and yogurt pouches

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

The OUTSHINE range of smoothies. Pic: Nestlé
The OUTSHINE range of smoothies. Pic: Nestlé

Related tags Nestlé Yoghurt Yogurt pouches

Nestlé said due to the growth in the snack pouch category in the US, it has launched OUTSHINE, which it said addresses a key consumer need: an on-the-go snack that appeals to both adults and children.

A recent snacking habits survey conducted by OUTSHINE found 60% of parents prefer kids’ snacks over adult snacks, and 86% of parents are interested in snacks that appeal to the whole family.

As part of Nestle’s broader innovation strategy, OUTSHINE Smoothie & Yogurt Pouches are made with fruit blended with non-fat yogurt, and come in four flavor combinations: Blueberry Pear; Peach Raspberry; Strawberry Coconut and Pear Vanilla.

The range is the company’s first step into the shelf-stable category.

Outshine Fruit & Yogurt Smoothie Pouches are in the applesauce section of major retailers across the US, including Food Lion, select Kroger-owned stores and select Safeway Albertsons in the Pacific Northwest, for a suggested retail price of $4.49. The products are also available through Amazon.

Dairy Reporter had the opportunity to find out the details on the new launch from Doug Munk, senior director of new business ventures at Nestlé.

Could you tell me what Outshine is?

OUTSHINE produces delicious and wholesome snacks made with high quality ingredients to refresh consumers from the inside out. With a wide variety of products and flavors including new Fruit & Yogurt Smoothies, Frozen Fruit Bars, Simply Indulgent Bars and Half-Dipped Fruit Bars dipped in dark chocolate, the OUTSHINE® brand offers refreshing snacks made with the goodness of real fruit and juice.

How does it relate/connect to Nestlé’s overall business?

In Nestlé USA, our work with OUTSHINE exists within our innovation incubator. We’re always trying to think of ways to test, learn, and innovate. This incubator allows food entrepreneurs to create new and unique food products and make them more widely available to consumers. Ultimately, we aim to create solutions for consumers, and they’ll tell us what works.

The addition of OUTSHINE Fruit & Yogurt Smoothie Pouches to the product portfolio marks our first innovative step into the shelf-stable category, helping accelerate awareness of the brand by providing wholesome, nutritious snacks for multiple occasions.

How and why was the product developed?

OUTSHINE Fruit & Yogurt Smoothie Pouches were developed for busy parents who want to purchase convenient snacks that appeal to the whole family and that are made with real fruit ingredients, 0g added sugar and no artificial flavors or colors. 

We developed a survey to explore the family snacking habits of Millennial/Gen X parents with children ages 1-12 years old, and our key findings confirmed there is consumer demand, specifically for families, seeking quick, shelf-stable snacking options that are nutritious and appeal to the whole family. According to our survey, 74% of US parents look for an on-the-go snack at least once a week.

In addition, we know that 1 out of 3 parents already consume kids pouches but may not feel comfortable doing so since most are targeting children.  Pouches targeting adults are a growing trend, but most on the market now aren’t appealing to kids. To ensure the whole family feels comfortable enjoying OUTSHINE Fruit & Yogurt Smoothies, the product’s taste and texture is designed for whole family appeal, and the packaging design is elevated and intended for a wide audience; there are no elements that particularly appeal to one demographic (such as cartoons, characters, etc.).

And how are new product launches decided upon in general?

At Nestlé USA, we are consumer-obsessed and determined to deliver on ever-changing consumer demands, which means we need to constantly explore new innovation models to drive business forward for our consumers. Nestlé landed twice on Fast Company’s list of Best Workplaces for Innovators because of how we innovate: we combine the scale and expertise of a global company with a startup mindset, using speed and agility to continually evolve with our consumers.

Most recently, the Nestlé Toll House Ready-to-Bake Brownies launched through our Open Channel innovation platform; this internal crowdsourcing initiative was introduced at Nestlé almost four years ago. Employees throughout the organization, regardless of job title or function, are encouraged to submit and vote on ideas. Those with the most popular ideas are invited to present to the leadership team and, if selected, are provided resources to commercialize the concept. Ready-to-Bake Brownies are just one of the several market successes; others include Stouffer’s Classic Lasagna Bites and Stouffer’s Chicken Pot Pie Bites.

Considering the huge growth in the sector, are there plans for plant-based versions?

Plant-based is a huge trend that we think will continue to grow in the years to come. Our data show as many as 65% of Gen-Z Americans want to adopt a plant-forward diet. Whether it’s our ready-to-eat Sweet Earth Plant Based Chik’n or our non-dairy Natural Bliss creamers, we’re focused on giving consumers the options they want. We’re also looking to what’s next by exploring other alternative protein technologies that provide sustainable solutions.

What trends are you seeing in different regions in 2022, and how are you trying to take advantage of those?

One trend we’re tracking is the at-home revolution. As eating at home increased exponentially in the past few years, we’re focused on making sure that eating in home is as easy and delicious as it is out-of-home. While there has been some expected shift from pandemic activity, we continue to see consumers embracing these new habits. With our products in 97% of homes in the US and our uniquely positioned portfolio, we are well poised to continue to capitalize on these new eating and drinking occasions.

We’re also tracking a blurring trend in mealtimes; most people no longer eat three meals per day. With increased work-from-home instances and more flexible schedules, many are snacking more and eating smaller meals. We’re focused on meeting our consumer where they are with the product they want. Outshine Smoothie Pouches do just that, they deliver on taste, nutrition and convenience, answering what our consumers wanted.

During the pandemic consumers embraced food e-commerce like never before. Nestlé was able to quickly evolve our ecommerce strategy to meet growing consumer needs. Last year, ecommerce growth doubled for us globally, and here in the US it accounted for 40% of our growth. We will continue to evolve our shopper strategies to meet the changing consumer needs in this increasingly omni-channel environment.

Are there any other plans you can share for 2022?

OUTSHINE Smoothie Cubes, which transform into delicious smoothies with the addition of your favorite liquid, will be coming out later this year, and we are excited about continued innovations for the OUTSHINE brand.