Unilever has announced that it will partner with food-tech company ENOUGH (formerly 3F BIO) to bring new plant-based meat products to market.
ENOUGH’s technology uses a unique zero-waste fermentation process to grow a high-quality protein. Natural fungi are fed with renewable feedstock, such as wheat and corn. This produces ABUNDA® mycoprotein, a complete food ingredient containing all essential amino acids as well as being high in dietary fibre. The global meat-free sector is experiencing explosive growth as people around the world become more conscious of the impact of animal products on their health and the planet. Recent estimates suggest the global meat-free sector will hit US$290 billion in 2035.
The game-changing protein is a natural fit for Unilever’s fast-growing meat-alternative brand, The Vegetarian Butcher, which grew over 70% in 2020. With a broad range of delicious products for meat lovers, flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans alike, the brand is on a mission to become the largest butcher in the world by inspiring a plant-based food revolution.
Powered by cutting-edge innovation, The Vegetarian Butcher uses a diverse blend of plant-based proteins to create meat-like tastes and textures for its wide-ranging portfolio, which is now available in fast-growing markets in 45 countries across 4 continents. The Vegetarian Butcher’s recently launched vegan Raw Burger delivers the taste and juicy tenderness of a beef burger cooked rare, while its partnership with Burger King has brought products like the Plant-Based Whopper, Plant-Based Nuggets and Vegan Royale to meat-lovers in more than 35 countries around the world.
Carla Hilhorst, EVP of R&D for Foods & Refreshment at Unilever, said: “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. 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.”
Andrew Beasley, Commercial Director of ENOUGH said “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.”
Plant-based innovations like these will support the delivery of Unilever’s strategic focus on developing the portfolio into high-growth spaces, and contribute towards its annual global sales target of €1 billion from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives by 2025-2027. The target forms part of Unilever’s ‘Future Foods’ ambition, launched globally with two key objectives: to help people transition towards healthier diets and to help reduce the environmental impact of the global food chain.
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