Multinational wants cape gooseberries to be their new superfood

Nestlé's new superfood candidate is the cape gooseberry (physalis peruviana), which is also known as goldenberry, or aguaymanto in Peru.

The world's largest food company could add this Andean fruit, which is closely related to tomato and has a bittersweet taste, to a range of products after acquiring a Latin American company that produces snacks that uses this ingredient.

"One of our main reasons for partnering with Nestlé is that we saw that they were interested in using cape gooseberries in their products, from baby food to cereal bars and chocolate," said the CEO of Terrafertil, David Bermeo, in an interview.

These yellow berries, which are about the size of a marble, are relatively unknown outside of Latin America and can be added to baked goods, salads and cereals, or eaten as fresh or dried fruits. They have a high content of antioxidants, which, according to advocates, can help prevent chronic diseases, including cancer.

Baby food maker Gerber and KitKat chocolate bars have been incorporating healthier foods to satisfy consumers who avoid sugar and processed foods. The company has renewed its frozen food offerings, acquired Sweet Earth, a producer of vegetarian burritos, and it is boosting its vegetable food portfolio.

Nestlé's acquired 60% of Terrafertil, which owns the Nature's Heart brand and is the world's largest buyer of gooseberries. The acquisition was completed on Tuesday.

"Consumers are increasingly looking for organic and natural foods with high nutrient content," said Laurent Freixe, the CEO of Nestlé for the Americas. "We are eager to work with Terrafertil and explore the potential of their products."

Latin America is known for having introduced a large number of super foods to the world, such as quinoa, chia seeds, amaranth, and acai berries.

"Together with Nestlé we can start promoting this product, which has enormous nutritional properties and is practically unknown," said Bermeo.

Source: Agencia Bloomberg

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