ABP Food group makes most of its money from beef. Now it's launching a plant-based protein brand.
Something is happening in the food industry. White Castle is serving Impossible sliders; McDonalds is exploring McVegan options; Maple Leaf Foods is investing in Field Grain Meats; and Tyson is putting money into the Beyond Burger.
Now, citing growing interest in plant-based eating, ABP Foods—one of Europe's leading meat processors which once got in trouble for horse dressed up as lamb—is launching a line of vegetarian protein products designed to mimic the taste, texture and eating experience of meat.Here's how Darren Jones, Commercial Director for ABP UK, described the move:
“We are very excited about our first fresh brand launch into the meat-free category. Our core business is and will remain in beef but we recognise the growing demand for products that fit a flexitarian and meat-free lifestyle. As a business, we have long invested in understanding market and consumer trends and we have a keen interest in exploring opportunities that provide consumers with choice.”
The brand—dubbed "Equals" because the experience equals that of meat-based counterparts—is making its debut with a two-pack of quarter pounder burgers made from seasoned pea and soy proteins. And it's being supported by £250,000 in-store marketing as well as a big social media push. It's going to be available in Asda supermarkets in the UK as soon as next week, with other retailers to follow.
I'd be curious to know what any readers make of it, when you do get to try it. At least the horses of Europe can breathe a little easier now...