Germany-based BENEO, a food production company that manufactures sweeteners, pharmaceutical excipients, human nutrition, and animal nutrition products, has announced the acquisition of the Netherlands-based Meatless B.V., a company that produces high-quality vegetable fibres used in composite meat products.
This acquisition comes on the back of rising demand for plant-based products. According to a press release by BENEO, the market for fish and meat alternatives is expected to grow by more than 10 per cent CAGR over the next five years.
Andreas Herber, Executive Board member at BENEO, says, “Following the recently announced investment into our new faba bean processing plant, the acquisition of Meatless B.V. is the next logical step to reaffirm BENEO’s commitment to strengthening its business with solutions for plant-based alternatives.”
What does Meatless offer?
Originally a meat processing company, founder Jos Hugense decided to switch to plant-based production of basic raw materials for the vegetarian and meat industry (for example, rice, faba beans, wheat, pea, lupin and quinoa) in 2005. Meatless is producing vegetable textured products, which can be used in a variety of processed food products.
The products are used as a raw material or ingredient in the production of vegetarian and vegan food, and also as a substitute for fat or meat in processed meat products. Besides, Meatless is also developing hybrid products – hypo-allergenic versions were added to the company’s product range. The company says its products are made of natural wholefood raw materials and contain no artificial binders, preservatives, colouring agents or flavour enhancers.
According to the company, with the European market growing in double-digit figures, Meatless realised 23 per cent growth in 2020 and doubled its sales in Q1 and Q2 of 2021. The company also doubled its frozen production capacity and tripled dehydrated production capacity in 2020 and 2021 to secure supply security for its customers.
With this acquisition, the current management of Meatless will stay on board.
CEO Jos Hugense says, “We are glad that Meatless can make the next step in its corporate development with BENEO. BENEO has a strong and experienced global player for functional ingredients and will enable Meatless to meet the growing demand and further accelerate the expansion of the business in new markets.”
Aim of this acquisition
With this development, BENEO is cementing its position to become a major player in the field of plant-based texturising solutions for meat and fish alternatives. The acquisition of Meatless will allow BENEO to broaden its portfolio and offer customers a versatile selection of plant-based solutions that serve as texturisers for meat and fish alternatives.
BENEO expects to provide a new range of solutions in Europe as a focus market, with plans to further expand globally. The company says that the range of products offered by Meatless will complement BENEO’s ingredients portfolio and allow for new combinations.
Meatless’ products are sustainable by design, with the production processes achieving a low carbon footprint, further supporting BENEO’s aim to use production facilities to reduce total CO2 emissions.
BENEO’s Board member, Andreas Herber, says, “BENEO and Meatless are a natural fit. BENEO’s raw material expertise and ingredient knowledge, in combination with Meatless’ technology and product portfolio, will provide our customers with a versatile plant-based toolbox for meat and fish alternatives. The acquisition will allow for exciting new developments within BENEO’s portfolio, while also supporting the business’ sustainability ambitions.”
BENEO – Connecting nutrition and health
Founded in 2007, BENEO offers a range of nutrients with health and technical benefits derived from the natural sources like chicory roots, sugar beet, rice, and wheat. By “connecting nutrition and health”, the company supports food and feed manufacturers to produce healthy and balanced products.
The company’s nutrients helps food manufacturers to develop ‘great-tasting’ products that are nutritionally optimised with less or no sugar or fat, fibre-enriched or gluten- as well as dairy-free and more. BENEO claims to take it even further: energy management, digestive, bone and dental health are concepts where the company’s ingredients can play a decisive role. In addition, they improve the taste and texture of food and beverages.
BENEO’s product portfolio is used in applications including baby food, bakery, cereals, beverages, confectionery, dairy, meat & vegetables, and soups & sauces.