The manufacturer has upgraded its vegan factory with a £500,000 injection and installed a £1m robotic chicken sausage-making machine at its site in Bedale, North Yorkshire.
Co-founder and sales director Jamie Keeble highlighted the success of its vegan brand, which now accounted for 30% of its business – mainly exports.
“We are literally taking Heck round the world to the Middle and Far East, US and across Europe, hence the £500,000 investment into new equipment making production more efficient,” he said.
“We are also seeing a real growth in the ‘Megan’ market – flexitarian – as people look at introducing more plant-based food into their diet and also different types of meat, such as chicken. We now sell more chicken than pork sausages and the new robotic chicken line will increase production capacity and enable us to produce over a one million sausages a day.”
January has seen a number of new product launches from Heck, including four new vegan ranges into retailer Morrisons, a heart-shaped vegan burger into Asda, an ultimate vegan burger and a chicken and sage chipolata.
The sausage maker’s investment comes three months after it pumped £600,000 into the development of a new plant-based range for high street health store Holland & Barrett.
In addition to its launch in Holland & Barrett, Heck’s vegan range is now available in 100 stores in Australia and plans have been made to extend its reach to Canada, the US and the Far East. Heck products are stocked in more than 30,000 stores across the UK and Ireland.
Meanwhile, further expansion in the UK and the growing demand for vegan and dairy-free products are hot topics for chocolate maker Barry Callebaut.