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Plant-based meat brand Heura’s mission to make vegan food as accessible as possible appears to be going well, to say the least. After a record-breaking year that saw hundreds of stores welcome Heura products with open arms, thousands of restaurants plating up its vegan meat, and most notably, more than one million animals’ lives spared, Heura closed 2022 with one last launch.
Popular British supermarket chain, Waitrose – with 118 years of operation to its name – is the latest to stock its shelves with Heura’s plant-based food.
The plant-powered products are made with non-GMO soy protein, using crops that don’t encourage deforestation. In addition, all three vegan meat choices contain fiber, vital for digestive health, and vitamin B12, required for optimal brain function. They also pack 15-19 grams of protein, depending on the product. The vegan chorizo items – which feature shea butter, and radish and carrot extract – boast iron, too.
Unlike “traditional” meat and other animal products, Heura’s entire range is free from cholesterol. They can also be prepared in 4-7 minutes.
Heura makes its mark on the UK
Waitrose is certainly not alone in bringing Heura products to its shoppers. Across the UK, 300 points of sale (POS) already offer the brand’s plant-based meat, including catering company Benugo, meal kit retailer Mindful Chef, vegan food chain Neat Burger, and Twickenham Stadium in south-west London. Even employees at Google offices across the country can dine on Heura’s food.
“Data shows that almost half of British adults are considering reducing their intake of animal products; however, without options there can be no change,” CEO and co-founder of Heura Foods, food activist Marc Coloma, tells Plant Based News. “Our partnership with Waitrose extends our UK presence to nearly 400 POS and takes Heura one step further in expanding the plant-based category throughout Europe, and making nutrient-dense sustainable foods even more readily available.”
Twenty-two countries are now home to Heura’s products, which can be found at more than 18,000 POS.
Dismantling the meat market, one bite at a time
Unsurprisingly, this level of expansion is accompanied by impressive sales figures. Following a record-breaking 2021, Heura closed H1 2022 with €14.7 million in turnover, up from €7.6 million during the same period the year prior.
2022 also saw thousands come together to personally support Heura’s mission. The brand opened up its Equity for Good Rebels crowdfunding campaign, which drew in €4 million in just 12 hours. More than 5,000 people took part, with around half aged between 18-35, and 42 percent identifying as women.
Then, in October, the Barcelona-born brand closed a €20 million funding round, with participation from NBA star Ricky Rubio, football players Sergio Busquets and Sergi Roberto, comedian David Broncano, and Unovis Asset Management.
Heura plans to use these funds to expand its range, with a breaded chicken fillet, Burger 3.0, Nuggets 2.0, and Meatballs 2.0 in development. It’s also gearing up to launch breakthrough new technologies that will bring even more nutrient-dense, planet-positive foods to people around the world.
Speaking about the funding round, CEO Coloma said in October: “Having mission-driven investors on board who dare to take bold action to accelerate the plant-based protein transition gives us the resources to continue driving category growth across Europe.
“We have a clear vision, and this new funding will help us transition from a successful Spanish plant-based company, to a net positive food-tech startup that’s leading the protein transition across Europe.”
Importantly, these sales and fundraising figures translate into meaningful change in today’s food system, which Coloma says is “broken.”
When compared to the environmental and animal impact of traditional protein, Heura’s products come out on top every time. The company estimates that during the first half of 2022 alone, it helped save approximately 55.9 million liters of water (the equivalent of 22 Olympic-sized pools) and 3.6 million kilograms of CO2 (comparable to more than 18,500 flights from Madrid to London). Further, an estimated 509,000 chickens’, pigs’, and cows’ lives were spared in the six-month period.
As it continues to see more than 100 percent year-on-year growth, Heura is laying the groundwork for its upcoming Series B round in 2023, which the start-up expects will be one of Europe’s largest ever in the category.
It’s all part of the bigger picture for Heura. Which, Coloma says, is to “usher in a future that’s better for the people, planet, and animals.”
Shoppers can now find Heura’s vegan Chorizo Burgers (£4), Spanish Chorizo Sausage (£3.50), Mediterranean Chick’n Pieces (£3.50) at select Waitrose stores across the UK. To see where else you can get your hands on Heura’s products, visit its website. Those interested can also follow the company on Instagram.
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