GERMANY- European functional ingredients manufacturer, Beneo GmbH, has appointed Niels E Hower as new member of its executive board of directors, effective immediately.

According to the manufacturer, Hower will focus on the progressive development of Meatless to meet the growing demand for plant-based products, alongside Beneo’s wider ingredient portfolio.

“Hower will see over the company’s portfolio of plant-based proteins, which includes Meatless, a specialized company for plant-based texturizing solutions, formed in 2005 and acquired in May 2022,” Beneo said during Hower’s appointment.

“Hower has more than 25 years of experience in the retail, wholesale, and life science sectors with an MBA in economics and has occupied several senior management roles during his career, where some of his key responsibilities have included category and product management, and operations.”

During his appointment, Hower assured to lead the ingredients company in its quest to grow its plant-based protein offerings in the forecast period.

I am happy to join the Beneo team, whose technical and nutritional expertise and longstanding experience have made the company a leading player for prebiotic chicory root fibres, functional carbohydrates, and speciality rice ingredients,” he said. 

In the future, we will continue to grow our range into more products to satisfy different market needs for meat and fish alternatives.

Before joining Beneo as a board member, Hower was the EVP of global procurement at Fresenius Kabi and a co-founder at the Doctor Chococo brand, which launched a functional milk chocolate bar containing vitamin D and other beneficial ingredients.

Earlier this year, the European processor acquired a 14% stake in Grillido to strengthen its capabilities in the alternative protein sector.

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

By tapping into Grillido’s consumer understanding and culinary knowledge, Beneo noted that the acquisition would enable the business to move more quickly with the development of its existing product solutions for the plant-based market, as well as new products and innovations.

According to Research and Markets, the world’s largest market research store, the plant protein market is likely to increase its market value from US$10.126 billion in 2020 to US$17.414 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 8.05%. 

This significant growth will continue to be driven by sustainability concerns and a trend toward the adoption of veganism and vegetarianism all over the world. 

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