Mora started out in a “small local butchery in Maastricht” in 1960 and is now one of the most popular brands in the Netherlands. It is known for its frozen meat-based snacks including croquettes, Frikandellen – a traditional Danish hotdog – and hamburgers.
Through the tie up, Van Geloven and The Vegetarian Butcher plan to leverage Mora’s brand recognition and The Vegetarian Butcher’s technical expertise in meat analogues to bring meat-free options to a mass market.
‘Hardly distinguishable’ from meat
The first products will be available throughout the country early next year, the company revealed. The vegetarian alternatives will be “hardly distinguishable” from the meat-based products on which they are based, Van Geloven added.
Mora and The Vegetarian Butcher have developed a pulled pork croquette and Bitterballen - a Dutch meat-based snack – that they claim are almost identical to the original meat-based product. The have also developed a vegetarian Kipkorn, another Dutch fast food favourite.
Van Geloven is targeting consumption in and out of the home. The vegetarian pork croquette will be available next week (2 October) at the restaurant De Vegetarische Slager, De Vleesch Lobby, in The Hague. At the start of 2019, the entire range of vegetarian snacks will be launched in supermarkets, at cafeterias, company canteens, filling stations and “many [other] catering establishments”.
The launch will be supported by promotional activity including appearances from well-known brand representative Cora van Mora.
Giving Mora ‘new impetus’
At present, 39 million Mora-branded croquettes are eaten every year. The company hopes to accelerate growth and increase consumer choice.
Through the collaboration, Van Geloven wants to capitalise on growing demand for meat-free products in the Netherlands. According to data from the University of Wageningen, 750,000 Dutch consumers identify as vegetarian and two-thirds of the population are flexitarians.
“Every Dutch person is entitled to a croquette, with or without meat. We are proud that with this collaboration we can merge 'best of both worlds' and give a valuable new impetus to our Mora brand,” said Marcel Joosten, marketing director of Van Geloven.
Expanding appeal and accessibility
In recent years, The Vegetarian Butcher has been the fastest growing brand in meat substitutes in the Netherlands.
The group has rolled out various meat-free products, including meat-free nuggets and burgers, and developed a strong identity that draws comparisons between its products and animal-based items.
Jaap Korteweg, founder of The Vegetarian Butcher, said that he believed that working with a brand like Mora would extend make vegetarian options more available on the mass market.
“We have launched a large assortment of meat and fish substitutes on the market. By working together with a snack authority like Mora, we are making vegetarian snacking even better and more accessible,” he explained.
“Above all, we want to bring a range of snacks to the market that taste as they should taste. Both for the meat lover, flexitarian and vegetarian.”