The meat-free food producer is creating a UK-based global innovation hub in response to a growing demand for vegetarian and vegan foods.
Quorn has revealed that their sales have risen 12% to £112m in the first six months of 2018, up from £100 million in 2017. The growth in demand has prompted them to invest millions in research and development to create exciting new products. They’ll do this by opening a brand new innovation hub in Yorkshire – the heart of a region that’s traditionally been known for animal farming.
The company’s products are all vegetarian, but some contain egg so aren’t suitable for vegans. The rise in demand for vegan food has fuelled a growth for Quorn and a need to create more vegan products.
Quorn’s chief executive, Kevin Brennan, has confirmed the company’s need to increase their innovation and keep on top of emerging competition. He told the Guardian:
“All over the world we have seen a real step-change in the way people are eating. Young consumers are really starting to have concerns around meat from a health and sustainability point of view.”
Quorn is made from a mycoprotein that comes from a fungus in soil. Around 500,000 tonnes of Quorn products are made every year. It has a unique taste and a wide range of products to choose from. The new global innovation centre will boost the company’s ability to ferment proteins like soy and help them to develop new products to meet growing demand and changing trends.
The global meat-free market is seeing a growth of between 10% and 20% each year, thanks to the rise in people choosing to be vegan or eat fewer animal products. US sales have risen by 23% and in Australia it’s a whopping 50%. UK sales are currently up by 15%, and supermarkets are recognising this growth by allocating more shelf space to meat-free and vegan products. This presents a real opportunity for meat-free food producers.
This announcement follows recent news that the company plans to build a new manufacturing plant, also in the UK, in September. Quorn expects to employ 100 new staff in the coming year and to double its production of meat-free pieces and mince substitutes, which are its biggest sellers.
Quorn currently employs 800 people and exports to 20 countries. The company says that demand has grown partly due to the rising number of people turning vegan and vegetarian, but also thanks to a huge increase in flexitarians – people who are reducing the amount of meat in their diets.
The growth in demand for meat-free and vegan products can be attributed to an increased awareness of the impact of meat and dairy on health, awareness of the realities of the farming industry, and a wider understanding of the impact on the environment of meat production.
Veganuary can back up this demand, as we’ve seen over 100% growth in sign-ups each year since we launched. In 2018 we expect more than 300,000 new people from across the world to register with us.