Quorn, the biggest name in the UK’s meat alternatives market, has invested £7 million in a new global innovation centre.
Situated in the north east of England, the centre is set to create new jobs as their sales rise year on year.
This new £7 million investment is part of what Quorn is calling an ongoing programme, as it attempts to expand its innovation abilities and its technological capability.
Coming on the heels of £112 million posted in like for like sales in its half-year results for 2018, the manufacturer announced the new global innovation centre to be situated at its headquarters in Stokesley, North Yorkshire. It will focus on enhancing their core protein fermentation capacity, as well as developing new products using their signature processes.
Quorn has already been able to create more than 100 new food jobs in the last year, and it looks like they are determined to continue investing their profits in the search for future successes. Their half-year results for the first six months of this year show a like for like sales growth of 12% compared to the same time in 2017. This is encouraging for the manufacturer, which has been able to capitalise on the growing vegan and vegetarian markets by expanding their product range and reach.
They also pointed out that the new innovation centre will help to continue their job creation ability. This will involve roles for employees who have backgrounds in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. They have not yet announced when their recruitment process for this new centre will begin, but it is sure to attract top talent to a very exciting opportunity.
The green pound is definitely behind a huge shift in the food market, which has seen vegan and vegetarian diets gathering pace and becoming more mainstream. Consumers are also more likely to consider eating a vegan or vegetarian meal once or twice a week, even if they are not following the dietary restrictions all the time.
Keith Brennan is the Chief Executive of Quorn. Commenting on both their year on year results and this new investment, he said: “With our renewed investment in R&D we expect to lead the way for decades to come. We hope to demonstrate that there are great British businesses in the north that can win on a global stage. We are already seeing amazing growth internationally: Australian sales are up 50% and US sales are up 23%. In the US supermarket giant Kroger, we now have the fastest-selling product in the category. With continued investment we believe we can continue this level of performance.”
These statistics show that it is not just the home market which is seeing this kind of growth. Indeed, this is a movement that is happening all over the world. With lots of companies now attempting to enter the green space and provide meals for alternative diets, it looks as though Quorn will have their work cut out to remain on top for as long as possible.
The UK market appears to be up by 15% year on year, while the global meat-free market is growing between 10% and 20% in most cases. More and more consumers are becoming concerned about the environmental impact of the meat industry, while others are interested in protecting their own health as well as fighting for ethical causes. As we begin to wise up to the dangers of excessive meat consumption on both a personal and environmental level, this trend is not expected to die down anytime soon.