Zwanenberg Food Group, which includes Dutch meat and snack producer Kips and Zwan luncheon meat, is phasing out meat products in favour of vegetarian products, the FD reports.
The family firm, which has been in business since 1929, says it is moving with the times and the new strategy comes in response to the fall in meat consumption in Europe. ‘It is now quite normal for young people to not eat meat three days a week,’ ceo Ronald Lotgerink told the paper.
The switch is a ‘rigorous’ one, FD writes. In time Zwanenberg is aiming for 50% of its turnover to come from non-meat products like vegetarian snacks, soups and sauces.
According to owner and director Aldo van der Laan the trend towards eating less meat is irreversible. ‘As a food producer we are looking to profit from this by buying specific companies or building more factories,’ he told FD.
At present 90% of Zwanenberg’s €400m annual turnover is based on meat products.
The company has already sold its fresh meat business to Belgian meat producer Ter Beke for €40m. Kips liver paste is not included in the package and will be sold as a snack.
It has also gained access to the new market for soups and sauces by taking over Unilever’s soup and (Unox) sausage factory in Oss where it will also produce part of its meat based products.
The move towards diversification is not only a result of changing eating habits but also a matter of size. ‘Scale is essential in the food market,’ Van der Laan told the paper.