The Bel Group is a leader in cheese, having created internationally recognized products such as The Laughing Cow®, Babybel®, Boursin®, and more. They are on a mission to provide healthier and responsible food for all, constantly innovating to build positive brands and products accessible to as many people as possible. From promoting sustainable agriculture to designing responsible packaging, Bel is dedicated to meeting the challenges of our entire ecosystem.
Together we have created Nurishh, Bel’s first animal-free brand, featuring a lactose-free cream cheese spread that is just as creamy and delicious as traditional cream cheese but made more sustainably with our whey protein.
We sat down with Delphine Chatelin, VP of Innovation of Bel, and Caroline Sorlin, Chief Venture Officer of Bel, to talk about our partnership, Bel’s commitment to sustainability, how they are leading the way for the future of food, and more…
What is Bel’s ethos?
Delphine Chatelin: At Bel, we believe that access to healthy and sustainable food is a fundamental right. As the growth of the world’s population collides with the need to preserve the planet and the desire to consume better, we express our mission through a collective motto: For All. For Good.
How is Bel prioritizing sustainability and reducing their environmental footprint?
Delphine Chatelin: Along with our mission to build the food model of tomorrow, while having a positive impact on our environment and our ecosystem, we combine responsibility and profitability and are constantly innovating to build positive brands and a variety of products that are accessible to as many people as possible!
We are determined to meet the challenges we face, for and with our entire ecosystem, from farm to fork throughout 5 key pillars guiding our action: promoting sustainable agriculture, contributing to healthier food, increasing the accessibility of our products, designing responsible packaging and fighting climate change.
How did the partnership with Perfect Day come about?
At Bel, we are determined to think and create the innovations that will shape the food of tomorrow for the benefit of our consumers. This is our role and our responsibility as a major player in the food industry. If we want to meet the challenges of offering sustainable, healthy, and accessible food for all, we need to reinvent our food model, we need innovation, we need disruption – thus working with startups is just completely obvious!
This partnership with Perfect Day is a beautiful encounter mixing Perfect Day’s unique technology and Bel’s historic and pioneering know-how. This is a beautiful meeting between 2 companies sharing the same vision and mindset. Together, we’re paving the way for the future of food!
As VP of Innovation, what consumer trends are you seeing when it comes to sustainability, and how is it influencing Bel’s product innovation?
Delphine Chatelin: Innovation has a double objective: serve as accurately as possible consumers’ needs but also the food model transformation.
Today, our consumers want climate-friendly offerings. They are as well looking for more health, well-being and entertainment: they acknowledge that food is the best way to reach it. All our innovation programs are dedicated to providing solutions to all our consumers and respecting the planet.
It requires us to consider new approaches with biotechnologies being at the heart of our activity, as an example. We are entering a real food revolution.
We definitely want to contribute to responsibly feed 10 billion people by 2050 while limiting the environmental impact of our value chain.
As Chief Venture Officer, how is Bel’s commitment to healthier and responsible food for all reflected in the partnership model?
Caroline Sorlin: At Bel we have an ambitious carbon reduction strategy to help limit global warming to below +1.5°C throughout our value chain. This implies that we will rebalance our portfolio to reach an equilibrium between our dairy offering and our fruit, plant-based and beyond dairy offering. That’s why we took time to screen disruptive technologies that should help us to bring tasty and nutritious alternative cheeses to our consumers. Precision fermentation has been prioritized from the early beginning given the tremendous opportunities it opens. Thus, we’re super excited to partner with Perfect Day whose teams will help meet our commitment. As a first illustration, in less than one year, we have been able to launch hand in hand with Perfect Day our first animal free dairy product under our Nurishh brand in the USA. This is the only beginning; we already have other projects with Perfect Day in mind…
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