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Wood-smoked, plant-based barbecue? U.S. food company Barvecue has announced its plans to open the world’s largest plant-based smokehouse, which will be able to manufacture 800,000 pounds of plant-based barbecue meat annually.
Based in North Carolina, U.S., Barvecue plans to open a 10,000 square foot production facility called the Carolina Smokehouse, in July this year.
Founded in 2017 by Lee Cooper along with founding partners Zack Werner and Jeni Cooper, Barvecue produces wood-smoked, plant-based barbecue that the company claims is similar in taste as well as mouthfeel compared to the conventional meat version.
To be located in North Carolina, the smokehouse will initially have a capacity to produce 800,000 pounds of Barvecue’s Pulled BVQ (with original sauce), Chopped BVQ (same as pulled, but gluten-free), and Naked versions of both (lightly seasoned, no sauce), per year.
Apart from this, the facility will be built according to safety standards with Siddhi Ops providing instrumental equipment and operations consulting and the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab offering technical and food safety support with an aim to recruit 15 team members in the first year,
In a press release seen by Green Queen, Barvenu founder & CEO Lee Cooper said that as the plant-based meat market surges, so, too, does the demand for the company’s wood-smoked, plant-based Barvecue. “As we grow to keep up with the demand for Barvecue products, we decided that it was time to expand production and lead the way in the plant-based barbecue market.”
According to recent research, the market size of the global plant-based meat industry is expected to register a 15.8% annual growth rate to reach US$35.8 billion by 2027, compared to US$11.1 billion in 2019, and this growing demand is attributed mainly to health concerns due to the upsurge in food-borne illnesses in animal meat, awareness of food safety and nutrition.
As the plant-based meat market surges, so, too, does the demand for the company’s wood-smoked, plant-based Barvecue. As we grow to keep up with the demand for Barvecue products, we decided that it was time to expand production and lead the way in the plant-based barbecue marketLee Cooper, Founder & CEO of Barvecue
Cooper added: “Our goal is to make delicious Barvecue, for everyone. We are excited to break ground on the world’s largest plant-based smokehouse so that we can soon do exactly that.”
Within walking distance from the new facility, the present location will become the brand’s Innovation Center once the North Carolina Smokehouse opens.
Last year, Barvecue made headlines when the company secured US$2M from mission-based venture capital firms. Now this month, it is gearing up to close an additional US$1M capital raise from current investors.
Demand for plant-based proteins has massively increased in 2021 amidst the coronavirus pandemic, which has drawn attention to the vulnerabilities of the meat supply chain and the dangers of viral outbreaks in slaughterhouses, sending consumers from the U.S. to Hong Kong in search for safer, healthier and more sustainable options.
In December of last year, Plant & Bean, a British developer, and manufacturer of plant-based food products had announced that it will be opening the largest plant-based meat production facility with a 55,000-tonne-capacity in Europe to help brands shorten supply chains, lower costs and ultimately bring affordable plant-based products to consumers.
According to another report, the global plant-based pork market is expected to rise at an exceptional CAGR of 24.0% between 2020 and 2030, with barbecue as an important part of this market.
A landmark study showed that apart from health benefits, a plant-based diet is good for the environment given that even if fossil fuels were to be eradicated immediately, the Paris agreement goals are still out of reach without a global concerted shift away from meat and dairy-heavy diets.
Lead image – BVQ Sandwich, courtesy of Barvecue.