Nov 18, 2020

Unilever aims for €1bn sales from plant-based products by 2027

Unilever is aiming to increase its annual sales of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives to €1bn in five to seven years, intensifying the battle for the plates of climate-conscious consumers. Unilever will focus on products such as milk-free ice cream and mayonnaise as well as soyabean and algae-based meat substitutes. Unilever is open to acquisitions but is mainly focused on organic growth, Ms Faber said, with a focus on meat substitutes and milk-free ice-cream and mayonnaise, rather than milk substitutes such as those produced by rival Danone. Unilever produces soyabean-based imitation meat and will also look to use microalgae nutrients through a partnership with UK-based specialist Algenuity. Consumption of such alternatives has kept rising during the pandemic: sales of meat substitutes were up 61.5 per cent in the UK in the year to August 5 from a year earlier, according to Nielsen, and up 140 per cent in the US. Shares in Beyond Meat plunged last week when it reported far lower third-quarter sales than analysts had expected, saying consumers had decreased purchases after filling their freezers at the start of the pandemic, while restaurant and fast-food chains continued to suffer.

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