The Tofoo Co set for further expansion despite ‘tofu phobia’

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

The Tofoo Co set for further expansion
The Tofoo Co set for further expansion

Related tags coronavirus

Tofu specialist The Tofoo Co is increasing its production capacity by 70%, following the installation of a new soy milk cooker from Japan.

The tofu brand, based in Malton, which is stocked in Tesco stores, is also predicting it will hit a turnover of £20m in 2021, up from this year’s £14m. In 2016, the business was turning over £600,000. 

It now produces up to 75 tonnes of tofu a week, up from three tonnes a week in 2016.

Dave Knibbs, managing director of The Tofoo Co, told Food Manufacture​ that it had already invested £3m into the factory since taking over in 2016 and was set to invest another £2m this year. It has already invested £1m of that into its soy milk cooker, as well as a processing system to remove fibre.

Knibbs said the business had grown “exponentially”​ and now employed more than 100 staff. 

Despite its investment in technology, the actual making of the tofu has been continued in the same way, by hand. 

“Our mission is tofu for all,” ​he said. “We have opened the market to a new audience.” 

However, he admitted there was still an education for consumers with tofu, as many were turning to meat substitutes. 

“The thing is that, still, not many people eat tofu in the UK,” ​he said  

“There is no doubt there is something called ‘tofu phobia’.”

Knibbs said the impact of the coronavirus – and the fact that it was thought to have started at a live food market – had increased people’s concerns about eating meat. 

He added that consumers who used to do their “adventure​” with food outside the home were now being more experimental with their cooking at home. 

He revealed that the company was continuing to develop its product range and would be extending into more added-value items. 

It has already launched a range of crispy products made from breadcrumb-coated tofu, as well as a sizzlers line. “We are launching things that will broaden the repertoire,” ​he added

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