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Quorn lifts capacity by 50% to meet surge in US sales

By Mike Stones+

Last updated on 07-Sep-2015 at 17:46 GMT2015-09-07T17:46:17Z

Quorn's secret weapon: Mo Farah
Quorn's secret weapon: Mo Farah

Quorn Foods has revealed a 50% increase in production capacity to meet a surge in global sales – particularly from the US and Europe – but has remained silent on reports of a takeover bid.

The firm boosted production after US sales rose by 30% over the past six months. European sales were up by 9% over the same period.

Quorn ceo Kevin Brennan said: “There is a growing trend towards meat reduction around the world and as more consumers turn to alternative sources of protein, Quorn has seen a growth in sales globally.

‘Great news for us’

“The US market in particular is waking up to the opportunity beyond meat-free burgers, which is great news for us as our existing range of products is second to none, both in terms of the breadth and quality of our offering. And we’ve got plenty more new products in the pipeline too, as we‘re always looking to bring something new and exciting to the market.”

US consumers were attracted to the quality and diversity of the Quorn range, which was high in protein and low in fat, he added.

Quorn had targeted annual US business growth of 30% – with the goal of building an American operation three times its current size by 2020.

Exports to Nordic countries and Germany had also seen strong double digit growth over the past six months, building on strong performances in both markets last year, said the firm.

The meat free manufacturer has enlisted the help of sports superstar Mo Farah, as it boosted TV advertising in Germany and the Nordics to help further drive growth.

‘Accelerate our European exports’

Meat free potential

“There is a growing trend towards meat reduction around the world and as more consumers turn to alternative sources of protein, Quorn has seen a growth in sales globally.

  • Kevin Brennan, Quorn

“As we push to accelerate our European exports we are investing heavily in TV advertising, particularly in Sweden and Germany,” said Brennan. “We know this will help to generate trial, and we’re confident that once people taste our products, they’ll repeat purchase, fuelling long-term demand.

“Quorn is even able to export Mo Farah through international marketing campaigns. Mo Farah, the star of our UK ads, also features in the Swedish advertisements and consumers there love him.”

The increased capacity followed the completion of a £30M investment by the company to create a third fermenter at its Billingham production plant, near Middlesbrough. The firm makes about  22,000t of mycoprotein per year, the core ingredient of Quorn products, at the site.

Quorn currently exports to 15 international markets, with overall sales growing by 7% over the past six months, “at a time when most food manufacturers are seeing flat sales”, said the firm.

Brennan is one of six men and women in contention for the Food Manufacture Personality of the Year award. Place your vote here .

Meanwhile, the business chose not to comment on weekend reports of two separate takeover bids being prepared by Nomad Foods and McCain.

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