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Wunda: The Good, Bad And Ugly

Have you Tried Wunda, Nestle’s recent pea milk offering? It's an interesting drink, to say the least, and another addition to the growing list of plant based milk alternatives.

Let's look at the good, the bad and the ugly of this new plant milk Wunda.

 

The Good

Brian Murphy, Category Lead, Nestlé Beverages, Food and Dairy, Nestlé Ireland, said:

‘Our aim with Wunda is to make plant-based milk alternatives an easier and more attractive choice for people who want milk that tastes closer to dairy but remains just as versatile. We want to offer a drink that tastes great and makes using a plant-based milk alternative a Wunda-full, tasty, positive, no-compromise experience that is good for you and good for the planet.’

Wunda has a higher protein content than many other plant based milks – because it’s based on pea protein. With that being said, it’s only 2.2g per 100 ml. If you have a large Wunda latte that’s probably around 9g of protein, it's nice, but it’s not setting the world on fire.

Like many 'premium' brands, Wunda is enriched with B12 and vitamin D. It also has a similar amount of calcium to dairy milk.

One thing I did like about the Wunda was the creamy texture. It did have a more traditional dairy milk mouthfeel than some plant milks.

We also must applaud Nestle for producing a carbon neutral product that has been certified by the carbon trust. It would be great to see more brands taking this extra step in protecting our environment.

Pea milk also has some environmental advantages. For one thing, the resulting greenhouse gas emissions are only 25% that of dairy. Also, peas are a nitrogen-fixing plant which means less fertiliser is needed, which is great for our soils!

 

 

The Bad

You know you’re drinking pea milk. I’m not sure it’s necessarily a bad thing (if that's your thing), but it’s definitely a thing you notice with each and every sip. It’s not a strong taste, but it is there. It’s probably not so much of an issue if you’re baking with it, but it didn’t float my boat as a drink.

 

The Ugly

My main bugbear with this product is the maker. Nestle is a monolith and is one of the largest companies in the world. One of the wonderful things about the plant based revolution is that it has allowed smaller companies to develop innovative and delicious plant based milk alternatives. While some headline brands (notably Oatly – which is owned by a hedge fund) are big players on the market, it's not hard to find smaller & local brands doing great work.

As a corporation, Nestle has a pretty controversial track record. They were accused of allowing child slavery in their supply chain. The U.S. supreme court dismissed the case on the basis that the case could not be heard in a U.S. court. Nestle vehemently denied the claims and detailed their plans to end child labour in their supply chain.

Nestle's water use in drought-stricken California has also come under fire, with the company accused of stealing up to 25x more water than they were allowed. Their CEO in 2005 also famously said that human beings having a right to water is ‘an extreme solution’. This position is in contradiction to the UN.

 

The Verdict

It's hard to give a clear answer. From a taste perspective, this isn't a winner for me – but as a certified coconut milk fan, perhaps I'm not the ideal demographic. So don't let that deter you from trying it. From a nutrition point of view, the extra protein is nice, and it’s good to have another higher protein alternative that isn’t soya milk.

While it is great to see that Nestle has gone carbon neutral with this product, it feels like just more corporate greenwashing, given their controversy around water rights and child labour.

Have you tried it? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.

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