Vegan and vegetarian food producer Quorn has opened the ‘world’s biggest and most advanced’ meat alternative factory in the UK.
The facility, in Billingham, is part of a £150m investment by Quorn, in a bid to meet growing consumer demand – targeting the burgeoning flexitarian market, as well as vegetarians and vegans.
The company has seen its sales soar by 16 percent over the last year to £205 million, and its investment in doubling its production capacity is just part of its plans to become a billion dollar brand.
Vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian
“We are investing in these uncertain times because we see long-term growth in the sector, particularly in the US, Australia and Asia,” said Quorn Foods Chief Executive Kevin Brennan.
“We are the world leader in meat alternatives and have seen our business grow by 16 percent in the last year. We see decades of growth ahead of us as consumers respond to growing environmental concerns around meat production.
“Our business is growing very rapidly, we’ve opened the biggest, fastest and most advanced production facility in the world.
“What’s unique about Quorn is we ferment our own protein, a protein which was identified and developed over three decades ago. We are investing 150m in next five years expanding our facilities.”
Bleeding vegan burger
In addition to expanding its production facilities, Quorn has also invested significant amounts of money into product R&D.
Earlier this year Brennan told The Guardian that Quorn was working in developing its own vegan ‘bleeding’ burger, as part of a $7 million investment on a research and development facility.
He said: “All over the world we have seen a real step-change in the way people are eating. Young consumers are really starting to have concerns around meat from a health and sustainability point of view. It’s not that younger consumers are all turning vegan or vegetarian but they are eating substantially less meat.”