Monde Nissin-owned Quorn Foods will invest £7 million to create a new innovation hub at its headquarters in North Yorkshire, UK.
The meat alternative food manufacturer said ongoing investment in innovation and technological capability is core to its growth strategy.
The facility will break ground at the end of the summer, and it is hoped it will enhance the firm’s capability in core protein fermentation to develop new products.
Quorn said that it is responding to a global trend towards meat alternatives as consumers grow concerned about the health and environmental issues associated with excessive meat consumption. It added that the UK’s meat-free category is growing at a rate of 15%.
Kevin Brennan, Quorn Foods chief executive, said: “With category momentum we are confident we can become a $1 billion business in under ten years. We are seeing lots of Silicon Valley investment and hype in this space but we have already built up 30 years of expertise in the meat-free category. With our renewed investment in R&D we expect to lead the way for decades to come.
“We hope to demonstrate that there are great British businesses in the north that can win on a global stage. We are already seeing amazing growth internationally: Australian sales are up 50% and US sales are up 23%. In the US supermarket giant Kroger, we now have the fastest-selling product in the category. With continued investment we believe we can continue this level of performance.”
The new funding announcement comes as Quorn reveals its half-year financial results in which sales were up 12% to £112 million. The increase follows on from the company’s strongest ever year of growth in 2017.
Earlier this week US meat alternative company Beyond Meat opened a new 26,000-square-foot research and development centre at its headquarters in Los Angeles.
The site will develop meat alternative products made directly from plants which it says are “indistinguishable from their animal protein equivalent”.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020
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