Sausage maker Heck has announced that they are manufacturing a new plant-based product range for high street shop Holland & Barrett. They have invested £600,000 into developing the range, which has now launched in 600 locations across the UK.
Vegan Facility Investment
The range was made possible after Heck installed a new machinery line at their vegan production facility, which is based in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire. Jamie Keeble, Head of Sales and Co-Founder at Heck, commented on the latest trends in vegan food: that most of the current lab-based meats are “made by men in white coats and test tubes, not people who really love food.” Heck, he says, is an alternative to that outlook.
There are also health concerns about the current manufacturing standards for vegan food. “Quite often, vegan food is also full of fat, salt or allergens such as soya, particularly those marketed at children and families,” he added. “Our plant-based sausages are made by real people and we have spent a huge amount of time and testing to make sure it tastes amazing. We are very much the David to the Goliath, up against the vegan big boys. So much venture capital has gone into the ‘Silicon Valley’ meats, but people are voting with their forks and retailers all over the world can see we are offering a much better proposition.”
They pushed for diversification after seeing pork prices skyrocket when swine flu broke out in China, and have hit on the vegan market in a very big way. All you need to do is read the food news here to see that there are more and more success stories in the vegan and vegetarian food markets every month.
Future of Production
It is clear that Heck can see the vegan range being a very big part of their future – and it may even end up being all that they are known for.
“I can really see our plant-based vegan being the majority of our business in five years and a huge market outside the EU,” Keeble added. “Companies like Tesco are taking a really entrepreneurial approach and have increased our listings massively in the fresh vegan section. Also, the traditional sausage and burger market is in decline, so we are continuing to look at ways to diversify and give sausage-lovers something different and fun.”
If you are looking to join a vegan company, whether in a manufacturing role or as part of the development team, make sure to check out our food job listings.
With Heck’s vegan range now available in 100 stores across Australia, and with plans to start selling in Canada, the US, and the Far East, it does not look as though they are going to be giving up on their green initiative any time soon. Nor does it look like the company shows any signs of slowing down. Getting into the market at the exact right time has seriously paid off.