Nutricia pioneers its first ever plant-based medical nutrition drink

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, January 25, 2023

  • The number of people opting for a plant-based diet is growing: more than 1 out of 31 Europeans choose a flexitarian, vegetarian, or vegan diet. Research has shown 16% of patients requiring medical nutrition seek plant-based options2.
  • When getting all the nutrition one needs is difficult due to a condition or disease, medical nutrition can help address nutritional requirements that cannot be met through normal food alone and support patient outcomes.
  • Nutricia’s Fortimel® PlantBased Energy is a new nutritional solution Health Care Professionals (HCPs) can recommend to patients embracing vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diets.

Today, Nutricia announces the launch of its first plant-based, ready to drink, oral nutritional supplement, Fortimel® PlantBased Energy, specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of people who are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition due to illness. It is nutritionally complete, with a blend of high-quality plant protein made from pea and soy sources3,4,5, and is suitable for vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian diets as well as for patients with cow’s milk protein allergy. The launch comes at a time when the number of people opting for a plant-based diet is growing: one third1 of Europeans have chosen a flexitarian diet.

Explaining the need for plant-based medical nutrition options during the ESPEN 2022 Congress Dr. Anne Holdoway, a registered dietitian from the UK, says: “Nutrition is not just about the nutrients. It also has many connotations in life, about the lives we lead, the interaction with other people, and respecting values and preferences. This is equally true in medical nutrition, where the importance of individualized nutritional care that is in line with people’s lifestyle preferences is very important. To provide this kind of individualized nutritional care, plant-based options are a welcome evolution of medical nutrition.

With the launch of Fortimel® PlantBased Energy, Nutricia builds on the expertise of its parent company Danone in plant nutrition, to expand its Fortimel portfolio of unique, clinically proven medical nutrition solutions tailored to meet patients’ everyday needs. A recent study conducted in the UK among a group of patients living in the community with or at risk of malnutrition, demonstrated Fortimel® PlantBased Energy significantly improved protein & energy intake, and was well tolerated, over a 4-week period5,6. Furthermore, adherence to the nutritional intervention over the course of the study was 94%5. Ensuring good adherence to medical nutrition patients have been prescribed is a key factor in promoting improved patient outcomes7.

We believe everyone should feel empowered to follow their dietary preferences especially in moments when they need specific medical nutritional support,” says Manuela Borella, Vice President, Global Plant-Based Strategy & Business Acceleration for Nutricia’s parent company Danone. “And with the growing number of adults embracing a plant-based diet we are delighted to pioneer our first plant-based medical nutrition drink meeting the needs of patients with malnutrition and a plant-based lifestyle.

Nutricia is launching Fortimel® PlantBased Energy in two flavors – a blend of Mango and Passion Fruit flavors, and Mocha, a blend of Coffee & Chocolate flavors – providing healthcare professionals with more options alongside the existing range of dairy-based Fortimel oral nutritional supplements. The new product is now available in The Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Czech Republic. It will be available in other European countries later in 2023.

Fortimel® PlantBased Energy is a Food for Special Medical Purposes for the dietary management of disease related malnutrition. It must be used under medical supervision.

  1. Vegan, Vegetarian or flexitarian Smart Protein. What consumers want: a survey on European consumer attitudes towards plant-based foods. 2021.
  2. Data on File, Nutricia, 2021
  3. Rutherfurd et al. J Nutr. 2015;145:372-9.
  4. Yang et al. Agro Food Ind Hi Tech. 2012;23:8-10.
  5. Report of an FAO Expert Consultation. 2013.
  6. Griffen C, et al. Abstract no. ESPEN22-LB-2147. Presented at ESPEN Congress, Vienna, 3rd-6th September 2022.
  7. Delsoglio M, et al. Abstract no. ESPEN22-LB-2139. Presented at ESPEN Congress, Vienna, 3rd-6th September 2022
  8. Holdoway et al. Nutrients. 2022;14:1-17.
  9. Euromonitor International, Plant-based Eating and Alternative Proteins, June 2021.
  10.  Bauer et al. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013; 14.8:542-559.
  11.  Hurt et al. Nutr Clin Pract. 2017;32:142S-51S.
  12.  Ochoa Gautier et al. Nutr Clin Pract. 2017;32:62-14S.
  13.  Rostom & Shine. Surgery. 2018;36:153-8.
  14.  Hou et al. Exp Biol Med. 201;240:997-1007.

About Nutricia

Nutricia pioneers nutritional solutions that help people live longer, more joyful and healthier lives. Building on more than a century of nutritional research and innovation, Nutricia continues to transform lives through the power of nutrition. Nutricia’s science-based products and services support healthy growth and development during the first 1000 days. Nutricia also helps to address some of the world’s biggest health challenges including conditions in early life such as pre-term birth, faltering growth, food allergy and rare metabolic diseases, as well as age-related conditions and chronic disease, such as frailty, cancer, stroke and early Alzheimer’s Disease. As part of Danone, Nutricia fully embraces the company’s “One Planet. One Health” vision reflecting that the health of people and the health of the planet are interconnected and therefore seeks to protect and nourish both. 

For more information visit


Emma Miller
Account Director, FleishmanHillard UK

Mercedes Sanguinetti
Communication Manager,
Danone Specialized Nutrition
+31 6 14 81 86 30

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