Unilever’s CEO has admitted that the world is shifting towards a ‘more’ plant-based diet.
Alan Jope also described the skyrocketing demand for plant-based foods as an ‘inexorable’ trend.
‘Attractive plant-based offerings’
Speaking to Bloomberg, he listed plant-based products as one of the top five global categories the corporation will prioritize.
“As you’ll know there is a secular trend toward us all eating a little more of a plant-based diet and we see all of our vegan and vegetarian offerings growing very quickly…
“The first thing we’re concerned to do is make sure that our big brands like Knorr and Hellmans have got attractive plant-based offerings. So, that’s really the main course – making sure veggie and vegan consumers have got options in the Knorr and Hellman’s range.
“Those have been growing very quickly for us. Can you even believe that we have plant-based Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a vegan magnum?”
Jope also said Unilever will continue to roll out The Vegetarian Butchers into more places ‘both at retail and in partnership with quick-serve restaurant partners’.
Unilever’s $1.2 billion vegan sales target
Last year, Unilever announced its €1 billion (around $1.2 billion) annual sales target for plant-based foods by the year 2027.
The ambitious target is part of the company’s Future Foods initiative. The incentive commits the food giant ‘to make healthier and sustainable food affordable for everyone’.
“So why plant-based foods?” Unilever wrote in an online statement.
“Animal agriculture is known to be the second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels. [It is also] a cause of deforestation, water and air pollution, and biodiversity loss.
“Reducing our meat consumption is essential… We know that a diverse, plant-based diet is better for our health and the health of the planet. But if we want people to make the switch, we need plant-based options to be more accessible, affordable, and appetising.”