Meat company HKScan has entered into an agreement with Hes-Pro Oy to develop and launch plant-based products.
HKScan will introduce a plant-based range during the first half of 2020, initially in the foodservice channel and later in retail.
The products will be developed by Hes-Pro Oy, which is part of the same group of companies as the fast-food chain Hesburger, at its new production unit in Kaarina, Finland.
The parties will later look into expanding production to HKScan’s facilities.
“Cooperation with Hes-Pro, part of the Hesburger group, is a natural step for HKScan as a part of its new group strategy implementation and supports the company’s target to grow into a versatile food company and to expand into new product categories and raw materials,” said HKScan CEO Tero Hemmilä.
“Responsibly produced meat and meat products will continue to be at the core of HKScan’s operations, but to establish a broader base for our future growth, we want to be actively present in new consumer trends. Hes-Pro has done excellent work on the development of plant-based protein products and it is great to start working with them.
“The collaboration is a good example of HKScan’s partnership strategy whereby we are involved in evolving product categories and sales channels also through strong partnerships.
The plant-based range will be first launched in Finland, but HKScan is also looking into opportunities to sell the products in its other markets in the Baltic Sea region.
Heikki Salmela, chairman of the Hes-Pro board, added: “We recognised the growing need for plant-based protein products several years ago and started developing our own plant-based protein products. Our goal is to make exceptionally tasty products using our own recipe.
“We have been looking for a suitable partner to launch our products widely to the consumer market. We were looking for an experienced partner with a strong presence in the consumer market and a wide geographical reach.
“So it is great to start working with HKScan, a company with an extensive sales and distribution network in the Nordic countries. I believe that the partnership with Hes-Pro will also support HKScan’s goal to grow as a versatile food company.”
HKScan is the latest meat processor to expand in the fast-growing plant-based sector.
Brazilian beef producer Marfrig has joined forces with ADM for the production and sale of plant-based protein products in Brazil.
Last month, Dutch meat processor Vion announced plans to switch a beef processing facility in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, into a dedicated plant-based site.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020