‘It’s a full-blown meat experience’: Hungarian plant-based start-up eyes European frozen food market
In Europe, consumers are increasingly favouring food that is quick and easy to prepare. This change in behaviour can be attributed, at least in part, to fast-paced lifestyles, leading to an uptick in frozen food purchases.
According to Statista, the sales value of frozen foods in Europe is estimated at more than $70.5bn (€66.39bn), and unsurprisingly, new start-ups are looking to take a piece of the (frozen) pie.
In Hungary, plant-based newcomer Plant Revolt describes the European frozen food market as its ‘playing field’ and aspires to expand into supermarket frozen aisles across the bloc.
‘Plant Revolt is all about taste and texture’
Plant Revolt aims to respond to consumer dissatisfaction with current plant-based meat alternatives on the market. “Plant-based options have been synonymous with compromises for a long time,” according to CEO and co-founder Victor Buranyi. “This has been a burden for anyone who has wanted to dive deeper into the plant-based diet.”
The start-up claims to have developed meat alternatives that offer a ‘full-blown meat experience’ with gluten-free products predominantly based on pea protein.
“Eating Plant Revolt products, you cannot [tell] the difference,” Buranyi told delegates at ProVeg Incubator’s recent Demo Day. “Plant Revolt is all about taste and texture. Our goal is to deliver delicious food to our tribe.”
The company is leveraging processing technologies that are ‘very similar’ to those used in meat production, including cutting and forming. Its formed products, such as meat-free nuggets, are pre-baked. “This is the same process for meat-based products,” the co-founder explained.
Aside from being gluten-free, other unique selling points include the products’ long shelf live (12 months), which Buranyi observed is longer than most in the space. “We also have a quite a competitive price,” he added. “Because of the contract production, we can keep our costs very low.”
2023 expansion plans
Plant Revolt is already on the market in its native Hungary and neighbouring Romania and has achieved ‘significant traction’. Its products – which include plant-based mince, sausages, and burgers – are available at more than 100 points of sale across four retail chains: Auchun, Metro, Tesco, and Carrefour.
The company has plans to expand both its product portfolio and geographical reach. In Q1 next year, Plant Revolt plans to launch a plant-based fish and chips product, plant-based cabanossi, and a plant-based frankfurter. In Q2, consumers should expect to see plant-based prawns and squid hit shelves, as well as plant-based cold cuts. Later in the year, the start-up plans to bring out a plant-based paté and plant-based chicken whole cut.
As to its geographical expansion, by the end of the year Plant Revolt hopes to be stocked across the UK, Germany, Croatia and Italy in retail and foodservice markets.
Can the start-up scale to meet such a spike in production? “We have scalable production capable of maintaining a high volume of output,” said Buranyi. As it stands, the business can produce up to 200 tonnes of product per month.
“Based on our go to market strategy, we are expecting healthy growth in our sales revenue,” the CEO continued. “In 2023, we expect to reach €5m in revenue, growing to €28m in 2025.”