BENEO has continued its expansion in the plant-based space with the acquisition of Meatless, a Dutch supplier of plant-based texturizing ingredients.
The deal, for an undisclosed sum, provides BENEO with access to Meatless’ ‘unique’ know-how and ingredient portfolio'. It broadens BENEO’s ingredient offering and allows the company the ability to provide its customers a ‘versatile’ selection of plant-based texturizers for meat and fish analogues.
“Meatless’ technology and product range are unique. This acquisition will definitely add new capabilities,” Andreas Herber, Member of the Executive Board at BENEO, told FoodNavigator.
“Meatless products are often made of wholefoods and are low processed. Raw materials include rice, faba bean, wheat, quinoa, pea and others, thus complementing BENEO’s portfolio and offering new and exciting possibilities to combine the ingredients with BENEO’s products.”
Bringing new solutions to the market
The deal comes as the market for meat and fish alternatives continues to surge, with forecasters predicting a 10% CARG over the next five years. “As part of this ever-growing trend for plant-based nutrition, ingredients that can effectively replace meat, fish or dairy are in high demand,” Herber observed.
BENEO said it sees ‘great prospects’ for the new range of solutions in Europe as a focus market in the first instance, with plans to further expand globally.
The group believes that combining the Meatless product range with its own expertise in functional ingredients and sourcing will provide a runway to accelerate growth and open the door to ‘exciting new combinations’ of ingredients. “Together with BENEO’s know-how in functional ingredients and access to raw materials, we see very promising market potential as it will allow us to expand our current product range even further,” Herber explained.
The addition of Meatless’ R&D capabilities and ingredient line-up is ‘absolutely’ expected to strengthen BENEO’s innovation pipeline, we were told.
“The acquisition complements BENEO’s portfolio and therefore our customers will benefit from a broader and more versatile toolbox for texturizing solutions for meat and fish alternatives. Through this acquisition, BENEO demonstrates it is well positioned to become a major player in the field of plant based texturizing solutions for meat and fish alternatives,” Herber said.
“There is significant growth potential for the business, alongside the growing market demand for plant-based solutions, offering great opportunities for both BENEO and its customers.”
BENEO taking ‘next logical step’ in plant-based alternatives
BENEO has been expanding its presence in the plant-based ingredient space. Last month, the group detailed plans to invest €50m in a new facility to make protein concentrate, starch rich flour and hulls from faba beans – a crop that it said comes with ‘convincing sustainable credentials’.
According to Herber, the acquisition of Meatless is part of this same drive. “Following the recently announced investment into our new faba bean processing plant, the acquisition of Meatless is the next logical step to reaffirm BENEO’s commitment to strengthening its business with solutions for plant-based alternatives,” he said.
The ingredient executive noted Meatless’ products are ‘sustainable by design’ and aligned with the efforts BENEO is making to reduce the carbon footprint of its production. “Meatless’ products are sustainable by design, with the production processes achieving a very low carbon footprint, further supporting BENEO’s aim to use state-of-the-art production facilities to reduce total CO2 emissions,” he told this publication.
The current management of Meatless will stay on board following the acquisition.
Jos Hugense, CEO of Meatless, said the acquisition marks the ‘next step’ for Meatless. “We are glad that Meatless can make the next step in its corporate development with BENEO. BENEO as a strong and experienced global player for functional ingredients will enable Meatless to meet the growing demand and further accelerate expansion of the business in new markets.”
Herber added: “Meatless is a successful B2B supplier to the fast-growing vegetarian and vegan market, producing a broad portfolio of textured products used by major food processors, while BENEO is a strong and experienced global player for functional ingredients. We are convinced that the new setup will create the prerequisite for meeting the growing demand and further accelerate expansion of the business in new markets.”