As we have watched here at Deli Market News, the plant-based sector continues to soar, and as its popularity grows, so too does the need for big industry names to get in on the action. Unilever is one such company that recently announced it has partnered with food-tech company, ENOUGH, to bring new plant-based meat products to market.
“Plant-based foods is one of Unilever’s fastest growing segments and we’re delighted to partner with ENOUGH to develop more sustainable protein products that are delicious, nutritious, and a force for good,” said Carla Hilhorst, Executive Vice President of Research and Development for Foods and Refreshment at Unilever. “We’re excited by the potential that this technology has for future innovations across our portfolio, and we can’t wait to launch more plant-based foods that help people cut down on meat, without compromising on taste.”
Experiencing booming growth, the global meat-free sector is estimated to hit $290 million by 2035, according to a press release. The expansion stems from consumer consciousness of the impact animal products are having on their health and the planet, and to meet this demand, Unilever will be utilizing ENOUGH’s unique technology to usher in new offerings.
ENOUGH’s technology uses a cutting-edge, zero-waste fermentation process to grow high-quality protein. The natural fungi that are created are then fed with renewable feedstock, such as wheat and corn, which produces ABUNDA® mycoprotein, a complete food ingredient containing all essential amino acids as well as being high in dietary fiber.
The innovative protein is a natural fit for Unilever’s fast-growing meat-alternative brand, The Vegetarian Butcher, which showed growth of over 70 percent in 2020 alone. Already offering a broad range of products for meat lovers, flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans, the brand’s mission is to become the largest butcher in the world by inspiring a plant-based revolution.
“Producing vast quantities of healthy and sustainable protein is one of the most urgent global priorities. There’s a rapid transition in the food industry, and we are excited with this collaboration with Unilever and The Vegetarian Butcher, which truly supports our aim to create impact and scale,” explained Andrew Beasley, Commercial Director of ENOUGH.
Backed by state-of-the-art processes, The Vegetarian Butcher uses a diverse blend of plant-based proteins to create meat-like tastes and textures for its portfolio. The brand’s lineup is now available in fast-growing markets in 45 countries across the world. Also growing in the foodservice sector, The Vegetarian Butcher has partnered with Burger King to introduce products like the Plant-Based Whopper, Plant-Based Nuggets, and Vegan Royale in 35 countries globally.
Through continued expansions such as these, Unilever has put a strategic focus on developing its portfolio in high-growth spaces, contributing to is annual global sales target of €1 billion (~$1.2 billion USD) from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives by 2025–2027.
What exciting new products will be produced through Unilever’s partnership with ENOUGH? Keep reading Deli Market News for the answers.