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Vivera, the largest producer of plant-based meat alternatives in the Netherlands, is planning to invest at least €30 million (US$35.5 million) over the next three years to expand its product line, machinery and workforce as demand continues to grow. With consumers turning to plant-based products more than ever before amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company is also reporting record sales this year.
According to a report by Distrifood, Vivera is going to make investments totalling more than US$35.5 million over the next three years to go towards its machinery, expanding its factory in Holten and ramping up new plant-based product development.
Speaking to the publication about accelerating production, Willem van Weede, the CEO of Vivera Foodgroup said: “We want to go from 17 million kilos to 45 million kilos by 2025.” He also added that the company plans to nearly double its workforce from 400 to 800 over the next four years.
The company also revealed that despite the broader economic outlook this year, it is expecting a turnover of €85 million (US$100 million) by end of 2020, and wants to triple it to more than €250 million (US$296 million) in the next five years.
Founded in 1990, Vivera became one of the first major food manufacturers to turn its back completely from meat products and focus solely on plant-based alternatives in 2019. Earlier this year in March, the company said that following the sale of its meat activities, it has already expanded its production capacity by 50% with a target of achieving annual production of more than 70 million plant-based products.
Currently, Vivera sells more than 50 plant-based meat products across 27,000 supermarkets across 25 countries in Europe, including some of the biggest retailers such as Tesco and Asda.
We clearly see an accelerating growth of the European market of plant-based food. We signal higher than expected demand from European supermarkets and Quick Service Restaurants.Willem van Weede, Vivera Foodgroup CEO
At the time, van Weede said that he believes that the plant-based trend has entered firmly into the mainstream, particularly as the pandemic exposes the vulnerability of meat supply chains and consumer attention towards health, food safety and sustainability reaches an all-time high.
“We clearly see an accelerating growth of the European market of plant-based food. We signal higher than expected demand from European supermarkets and Quick Service Restaurants,” he said in a press release.
He doubled down on his predictions in his latest interview with Distrifood, explaining that while the progress on expanding into more foodservice outlets such as fast food chains has been hampered by the coronavirus crisis, this will resume “sooner or later” and will “all work out again” by the end of the year.
All images courtesy of Vivera.