GERMANY – Beneo, a leading European food-producing company that is involved in offering plant-based functional ingredients of food, feed and pharma, has acquired a 14% stake in Grillido to strengthen its capabilities in the alternative protein sector.

Based in Munich, Germany, Grillido is focused on the development, production, marketing and distribution of alternative meat products, as well as other products linked to BBQ foods.

With a workforce that numbers 30, Grillido also operates with e-commerce, a multi-channel sales approach that covers retail and food service sales.

According to Beneo, a stake in Grillido will provide faster and more direct access to consumer feedback enabling them to gain valuable information about their plant-based preferences and needs.

“By tapping into Grillido’s consumer understanding and culinary knowledge, BENEO will be able to move more quickly with the development of its existing product solutions for the plant-based market, as well as new products and innovations,” said Dominic Speleers, a member of the executive board at Beneo.

Speelers further expressed confidence that the move to investing in plant-based “is the right one.”

The Beneo board member couldn’t be more right as the global plant-based food market is expected to reach a market valuation of US$10.9 billion in 2022, accelerating at a CAGR of 12.2% between 2022 and 2032, according to Future market Insights.

“Today, young people, in particular, are users of meat replacement, and these groups are expected to retain their ‘flexitarian’ habits as they age,” Speelers added.

“While the plant-based market in Europe is slowing down, it is still expected to grow by 14% CAGR between 2022 and 2027, so the decision has been taken based on a long- and mid-term perspective.”

Beneo’s confidence in plant-based meat is boosted by its own commissioned study carried out across Europe which found that 4 out of 5 people use protein alternatives.

Another report from the EU’s Smart Protein Project showed that the German plant-based sector is one of the largest and fastest growing among European countries.

The survey also showed that motivation behind the shift to plant-based protein varies from country to country with the Germans more concerned with animal welfare while other countries such as Spain focus almost entirely on the health aspect.

The major motivation behind the purchasing decision was however found to be the taste of the protein-alternative product, across all the countries surveyed.

This deal between Beneo and Grillido follows several developments in Beneo’s strategy to strengthen its portfolio and meet the growing demand for plant-based proteins.

The company recently acquired Meatless BV, a Dutch producer of plant proteins, and revealed plans to launch a €50 million (US$ 54.5M) fava bean processing plant.

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