Multinational Unilever is taking over the Dutch fake meat company The Vegetarian Butcher ‘in response to the growing trend among consumers to increasingly opt for vegetarian and vegan meals’.
The Utrecht-based company, founded in 2007, has worked together with Unilever on a small range of products since 2016. Its full range is now sold in 17 different countries.
Vegetarian Butcher founder Jaap Korteweg says the acquisition is the next step in its ambition to grow into ‘the largest butcher in the world’. Financial details were not disclosed.
‘We want to take the next step – conquer the world. It is our mission to make plant-based ‘meat’ the standard. We believe that with Unilever’s international network, this acquisition will help to accelerate our mission,’ Korteweg said.
The Vegetarian Butcher employs approximately 90 people, who are expected to remain with the business under Unilever ownership.
The company’s products range from no-chicken teriyaki to cold cuts, sausage rolls and small herbed sausages known as ‘little willies’.
Last year the company got into trouble with the Dutch food and product safety board which said the online labeling of some of its products – such as kipstuckjes (chicken nuggets) and gerookte speckjes (smoked bacon bits) were confusing to consumers.
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