Beyond Meat, one of the pioneers of extending the appeal of plant-based alternatives to a much broader audience, has today (11 June) officially opened its first manufacturing facility in Europe in partnership with Dutch meat company Zandbergen.
Work started on the site, in Zoeterwoude in the western Netherlands, just over a year ago. Beyond Burger said the new state-of-the-art facility will be owned and operated by Zandbergen and will produce the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage to allow for more efficient distribution of its products across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Zoeterwoude site will also produce new packaging for the Beyond Burger and Beyond Sausage in EMEA. The US company said this “lighter, more sustainable packaging aligns with Beyond Meat’s commitment to sustainability and will feature fully recyclable trays and 30% less material overall by reducing paper and plastic use.”
Beyond Meat said the facility is expected to have a lighter environmental impact. It was built to BREEAM standards, an internationally recognised standard for sustainability, meaning the site claims economical use of energy and raw materials while ensuring tight controls around waste management and transportation to reduce emissions.
“As the demand for plant-based protein and particularly Beyond Meat products grows in Europe and the Middle East, the official opening of this co-manufacturing facility in Zoeterwoude, the Netherlands is timely,” said Adriaan Figee, Chief Commercial Officer of Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat.
Earlier in the week, Beyond Meat acquired a separate facility in Enschede in the east of the Netherlands. This site will be the first Beyond Meat-owned facility outside of Missouri in the US. It expects the facility to be operational by the end of 2020 and allow for end-to-end manufacturing capabilities in Europe.
“This latest investment in production capacity reflects our continued commitment to serving global markets,” said Ethan Brown, Founder and CEO of Beyond Meat.
“Our new facility in Enschede will not only bring production closer to the consumer, representing an investment in the markets and communities we serve, but is expected to allow us to leverage local supply chains, improving our cost structure and sustainability of operations. We are excited to take this next step in bringing the nutritional and environmental benefits of our plant-based meats to the European consumer."
Beyond Meat was founded in 2009, launching the Beyond Burger in the US in 2016 and introducing its products to Europe in 2018. Its portfolio of burgers, sausages and mince from plant proteins is currently available in around 94,000 retail and foodservice outlets in 75 countries worldwide. The company, however, has faced some criticism for high prices and long ingredients lists.