Danish Crown Takes Bold Step Into Plant-Based Meat Sector Years After Underplaying Industry Growth

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Denmark’s Danish Crown is finally entering the plant-based scene. Its new brand, Den Grønne Slagter, translates as ‘The Green Butcher’. It will be available throughout Denmark and sold in popular retail stores. Eight products are being launched initially.

The new plant-based range will be launched with a selection of ready meals and base components. All are soy-free and based around Nordic or organic vegetable crops. Danish Crown has stated that each item has been developed with ease of use in mind. The company is synonymous with meat products and brands, particularly those that are pork-focussed.

Product image courtesy of Danish Crown.

Looking to new consumers

A large food producer that specialises in meat, Danish Crown moving into the plant-based sphere represents a tangible shift in Danish buying habits.

“When we diversify, it is important to us that we are able to offer products that taste good and are easy for consumers to prepare,” Jais Valeur, group CEO of Danish Crown said in a statement.

“We now have those products, and as one of  Denmark’s largest food suppliers, we wish to contribute to developing the supply of plant-based products. We foresee growing demand for alternative proteins in the years ahead, so the products we are now launching represent our first small step into that market.”

A recent study published on ScienceDirect claims that almost one-third of Danish people have already cut their meat intake. A further 11.5 percent planned to do so.

This ties in with Danish Crown’s findings that more than one-third of Danes claimed to have lowered their meat consumption within the last year. Using consumer surveys, the company has identified that two out of three Danish people plan to eat more plant-based foods. Danish Crown is estimating demand for upwards of 500,000 meat-free meals per week.

“We have still not defined a full and final strategy for our initiatives in plant-based food, but we certainly intend to have products on the supermarket shelves catering to any taste – no matter whether the consumer prefers Danish quality pork, an expensive steak, the quick ready meal, organic meat or plant-based food,” Valeur said. “As for our meat, we want our plant-based food to be manufactured from Danish raw materials, and ideally from our owners; the Danish farmers. Whether that will be practically feasible is one of the issues we need to clarify in our strategy work.” 

To cater to a wide selection of tastes, Danish Crown is launching the Den Grønne Slagter brand with burgers, schnitzels, mince, and deli meat-style products. Two Indian-inspired ready meals will be available. The company claims to have worked hard on perfecting taste and texture, noting that comprehensive cooking instructions will be provided for optimal results. 

Jais Valeur, CEO of Danish Crown. Image courtesy of Danish Crown.

A systemic mindset shift

News of Danish Crown’s foray into the plant-based meat world won’t come as a shock. Last year the pork and beef giant announced that it had been wrong to downplay the significance of the sector. Valeur commented that it was clear consumers no longer eat meat in the same quantities as they once did. He acknowledged that if trends continue along the same path, meat will become an occasional luxury, not a daily plate addition. Having missed the opportunity to add plant-based meat to its roster several years ago, Danish Crown has vowed not to underestimate the sector again.

Lead product images courtesy of Danish Crown.


  • Amy Buxton

    A long-term committed ethical vegan and formerly Green Queen's resident plant-based reporter, Amy juggles raising a family and maintaining her editorial career, while also campaigning for increased mental health awareness in the professional world. Known for her love of searing honesty, in addition to recipe developing, animal welfare and (often lacklustre) attempts at handicrafts, she’s hands-on and guided by her veganism in all aspects of life. She’s also extremely proud to be raising a next-generation vegan baby.

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