Barcelona-based “meat successor” Heura has announced ultra-ambitious plans to supersede meat by 2030. The move comes in response to claims that 60 percent of meat will no longer come from animals by 2040. At least 25 percent of that will be plant-based, with cultivated meat accounting for the rest. Founded by food activists Marc Coloma and Bernat Añaños, Heura aims to accelerate the timescale to 2030 with its unique brand of vegan R&D food tech.
Projected timescales for usurping animal-based meat follow Heura’s rapid growth since its inception in 2017. In the last 12 months, the company has reported a doubling of sales and 333 percent increased global presence. 2021 closed with a reported turnover of $17.7 million whereas 2020 saw sales of $8 million.
The numbers speak for themselves
Heura says that in 2021 it saved 80,280 animal lives, almost 635 million litres of water and more than 1.4 million kg of carbon emissions. These figures are compared to traditional meat production. Meanwhile, the company expanded its presence from 13 to 20 countries worldwide, increased its point of sale visibility from 3,000 to 13,000 outlets, and launched three new products. All in, 2021 was a busy year, and, as the numbers prove, Heura’s most successful ever.
A successful Series A round led by Impact Fooding saw the company raise €16 million last summer. It came weeks after a €4 million crowdfunding campaign that maxed out in just 24 hours. The investment was used to drive the development of new products with a focus on pork analogues and chicken nuggets. Add in Walmart Mexico distribution and anyone would be forgiven for assuming that 2022 would be a chance to rest and solidify the new markets. That is not the case for Heura.
“The talent pool we’ve acquired in our R&D team has more than 30 food science and technology patents under its belt,” Marc Coloma, co-founder and CEO said in a statement. “The proprietary technology we’ll roll out in 2022 will be the key to unlocking the potential of the plant-based movement and flipping the food industry on its head. The exponential growth we are experiencing demonstrates that the future will be plant-based. We are committed to accelerating the protein transition with high investment in tech and our activism through entrepreneurship.”
Plans in place
Heura is a brand that, seemingly, likes to keep things fresh. In terms of marketing, using a former bullfighting colosseum to launch new pork products was attention-grabbing. Then came the bright yellow Christmas sandwich pop-up in London. Finally, a wholesome new marketing video has been released. In it, a Spanish community is asked to taste Heura chorizo. Some of those featured are traditional chorizo makers themselves. The plant-based alternative gets an overwhelming seal of approval. There’s an element of unpredictability to Heura that makes it exciting. It’s most likely an overspill from the founders’ activist ambitions.
2022 and beyond are set to be product development-heavy. Ten new lines have already been slated for delivery, though no information is forthcoming as to what they will be yet. The only thing that will stay the same is the proprietary olive-oil fat base that is used in every recipe.
Alongside new foods, continued global expansion is a top priority. Launching a pop-up in London has caused some speculation that widespread retail availability might be on the cards for the U.K. though no confirmation has been made. A spokesperson for Heura told Green Queen that the biggest growth divers so far are Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands. There are no new fundraising plans in place for the foreseeable future.
Spain’s change of heart
News of Heura’s most successful year ever comes at a time when its home country is adopting new attitudes to meat. Traditionally a culture with a meat-heavy menu, Spain’s consumer affairs minister Alberto Garzón has doubled down on his insistence that the population reduces its meat consumption. The country leads the EU in terms of animal consumption per year. Climate change concerns have historically been linked to transport but more information surrounding meat production is leading to a potential consumer shift.
Last December, Spain announced a change in legislation to grant animals the same rights as humans. Neither wild or domestic creatures will be viewed as possessions anymore. The move angered far-right politicians, who were still smarting from a rejected proposal to ban plant-based meat and dairy products using conventional terms on their labelling.
All images courtesy of Heura Foods.