GERMANY, Gütersloh. Sausage producer The Family Butchers (TFB) also plans to launch vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives in April 2022. Company boss Hans-Ewald Reinert has big ambitions in the growing segment.
The Family Butchers (TFB) is working flat out to bring vegetarian sausage alternatives to the market. According to its own information, the second-largest German sausage producer wants to achieve a similarly strong position in the fast-growing veggie sausage segment in the medium term as it already has with conventional sausage. TFB plans to launch at least eight products in April 2022.
More than one in three eats less sausage and meat
Almost a year ago, TFB already registered a subsidiary called The Plantly Butchers at the district court in Gütersloh. A new, independent marketing concept is currently being developed around the Billie Green brand. With this step, the company from Versmold wants to profit from the continuing strong growth in the segment, which is attracting more and more manufacturers. The strong demand is based on a shift in eating habits.
A recent online survey of a good 2,000 men and women, conducted by "Lebensmittel Zeitung" (LZ) together with the market research company Yougov, concluded that 39 percent of respondents from all age groups are eating less sausage and meat. The most important reasons given for this are animal welfare (43 percent), health reasons (39 percent) and a general change in diet (35 percent).
So far, The Family Butchers does not produce vegetarian sausage alternatives. "We know that we are not the first, but there is still a really big potential," says TFB boss Hans-Ewald Reinert in an interview with the LZ. However, the topic is not entirely new for the managing partner either. From 2015 to the end of 2016, Reinert was already involved in the start-up Like Meat, which now belongs to the US collective Live Kindly. The extremely good growth at industry pioneer Rügenwalder Mühle convinced him to expand his involvement.
"Want to take a leading position"
The entrepreneur is taking a step-by-step approach to the planned market entry. Already a year ago, TFB brought in Sven Wieken as sales and marketing manager from a manufacturer of protein bars and drinks. Since then, he has been working on the new products. With Novel Vegan Crafts, a spin-off of Münster University of Applied Sciences, the company invested in food technology know-how. According to The Plantly Butchers CEO Sven Wieken, the development is already bearing fruit - several products are already close to being ready for the market. Most of them are based on wheat gluten. "We have filed a patent for the manufacturing method of many of the products," Wieken continues.
The goals for the veggie subsidiary are ambitious: "In five to seven years we want to achieve a nine-digit turnover with veggie products," says Reinert. That would correspond to a share of almost 15 per cent of the current group turnover of 720 million euros. Wieken adds: "With The Plantly Butchers we want to take a leading position in the segment." The clear market leader and benchmark in the veggie segment to date is Rügenwalder Mühle. The North German company currently generates about half of its turnover with vegetarian sausage and meat alternatives.
This text first appeared on www.lebensmittelzeitung.net.
Source: By Jens Kemle (LZ), lebensmittelzeitung.net, fleischwirtschaft.de / dfv Mediengruppe