Vivera invests 30million euro in plant-based production, ADM expands plant protein portfolio
Dutch plant-based food brand Vivera is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a 30 million euros (US$35 million) investment, set to double the size of its production in response to rising demand for vegetarian and vegan food. The plant-based sector is booming with ADM also expanding its protein portfolio with wheat and pea ingredients.
Vivera’s investment will be used to double the factory size of its plant-based production facility in the Netherlands, which this week opened the first phase of its expansion.
Not a passing trend
The switch from animal products to plants isn’t just a passing trend, it’s a “major change” in how people around the world are choosing to eat, and in the values and identity, they hold.
“Plant-based eating is now the new normal, as consumers realize that life is better when you eat less meat,” says Willem van Weede, CEO of Vivera.
“Our overall aim is to help consumers switch more easily to plant-based diets, to make diets healthier, food production greener, and save animal lives.”
“COVID-19 has led to more awareness of the importance of health and healthy eating habits. Also awareness has grown that the impact of changing our behavior can be significant for the planet and the realization that if we all change to plant-based eating this can also have a major positive impact on our planet,” he tells FoodIngredientsFirst.
The latest investment means the company will continue this innovation and produce products at an even larger scale – making it easier than ever for vegans and vegetarians to enjoy new products and flexitarians to make simple switches.
Over the next three years, an additional €30 million (US$35 million) investment aims to lead Vivera to triple its turnover in the next five years by increasing its international growth and penetration into the foodservice channel.
The investment means Vivera can expand its production capacity, doubling the size of its production facility in Holten, and includes investments in new machinery and production lines.
“This will help to grow the capacity from 17 million kg per year to 45 million kg per year in 2025,” adds van Weede.
Vivera has already played a significant part in the plant-based market’s growth by producing affordable foods, including a wide range of meat-free burgers and steak, mince, Greek kebab, chicken replacements, ‘bacon’ pieces, and more.
There are an estimated 75 million vegans and vegetarians in Europe, and Vivera products are stocked in 27,000 supermarkets across 25 European countries.
More than a quarter (26 percent) of meat-eaters are trying to reduce their consumption of animal products, and almost half (42 percent) of people believe that a meat-free diet is healthier, according to Vivera.
When the company was founded in 1990, it was one of the first companies to produce meat alternatives at scale, for what was then considered a niche offering. Once known as Enkco-Vivera, it produced frozen and chilled meat products alongside its vegetarian and vegan range.
In 2018, Vivera launched into the British market with the first plant-based steak alternative available in retailers – a breakthrough which enabled the company to further expand into international markets.
The following year, the sale of the meat production business to Van Loon Group meant the company could focus on the growing plant-based market.
ADM expands plant-based protein portfolio
Meanwhile, key ingredient players are expanding their offerings in the plant-based arena.
ADM has officially launched two Arcon T textured pea proteins, Prolite MeatTEX textured wheat protein and Prolite MeatXT non-textured wheat protein.
According to the company, these highly-functional protein solutions improve the texture and density of meat alternatives and are particularly useful for achieving consumer-preferred, meat-like texture.
“The key to winning over consumers with plant proteins is fine-tuning the product for optimal sensory appeal. It is essential to get aspects like taste and texture just right,” says Jacquelyn Schuh, product marketing director for alternative proteins.
“ADM is the only company offering a full portfolio of textured soy, wheat and pea proteins which unlocks a virtually limitless range of possibilities for creating new products in the plant protein space.”
ADM’s recent OutsideVoice Protein Segmentation Study found that the top factor motivating consumers in the plant-based category is health and nutrition. At the same time, unsatisfactory taste and texture are the top frustrations with the category.
With clean taste and a blank-slate color base, Prolite MeatTEX and MeatXT offer water absorption and hydration speeds that enhance processing efficiency and reliability.
Arcon T textured pea proteins deliver improved hydration properties and can offer a higher Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) than other pea proteins on the market. With minimized off notes and a light color, these proteins are ideal for meat alternatives. These products do not require allergen statements, so they are suited for allergen-free products.
ADM offers two forms of Arcon T textured pea protein: one which is a blend of pea protein and chickpeas; and another which blends pea protein with navy beans. Arcon T textured pea protein joins the portfolio alongside ADM’s ProFam pea protein powder, launched in 2019.