Finnish vegetable processor Apetit will invest €9.7 million in a new production line at its plant in Säkylä, in western Finland, to meet growing demand for vegetable-based burger patties and balls.
The construction of the production line will begin in August, with the line expected to be operational by June 2019. It will double the plant’s current production capacity and enable Apetit to develop new products both for the Finnish market and for markets overseas.
With many consumers turning away from animal protein as a result of health or sustainability concerns, plant-based alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), European meat consumption is forecast to fall from almost 11kg per person in 2017 to under 10.4kg per person – a much sharper rate of decline than the global average.
As well as producing patties and balls made from vegetables, it will also manufacture some equivalent products made from fish.
Apetit CEO Juha Vanhainen said: “Patties and balls have been one of the most rapidly growing product groups for a few years, with annual growth of about 20% on average. Prospects for continuous growth are also bright – this is supported by strong growth in consumer demand, own product development efforts and new openings in international trade.
“All of our strategic focus areas – renewal, internationalisation and efficiency improvement – will become visible in the investment. In addition, the investment is material locally in Säkylä and it is also a strong message on developing and further strengthening our operations. The investment will generate work and workplaces in the production and supply chains due to increased volumes. Raw material for products are also produced by local contract growers in the area.”
It is anticipated the increased capacity will allow Apetit to develop new shapes and flavours of product, use new raw material bases, and conceive completely new types of vegetable-based products – as well as allowing for greater customisation for different markets.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019