Plant-based NPD roundup

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Meatless Farm mince is being launched frozen via Ocado
Meatless Farm mince is being launched frozen via Ocado

Related tags: Bakery, Ingredients & nutrition, frozen, Npd, vegan

A flurry of plant-based product launches this week include Meatless Farm's first entry into the frozen food category, three new Morrisons products from Oumph! and Spanish brand Heura's UK debut.

Meatless Farm has launched free-flow mince via Ocado. The product will retail at £2.60 for 500g.

The mince uses the same recipe as its fresh mince, which includes a signature mix of pea, soya and rice protein. The company said making the product available in the frozen format allowed consumers to use as a convenience product and reduce wastage. It cited Mintel's November 2019 Meat Free Food Report, which indicated that while sales of chilled formats still predominate, sales of frozen meat-free products were growing at a faster rate.

Michael Hunter, chief growth officer at Meatless Farm, said: “Frozen food is having a real resurgence. Heightened by lockdown, increasingly more people are recognising the value in its long shelf-life and reduced food wastage. We’re bringing to market a frozen product that meets consumer demand from a sustainability, convenience and nutrition point of view.”

Juliet Hall, Buyer at Ocado said: “The frozen and plant-based food categories are both key areas of exciting growth and interest for consumers, so we’re always looking to extend our huge range of vegetarian and vegan products available at Ocado.com. We’re really pleased to be stocking Meatless Farm Frozen Mince as it means we’re able to offer Ocado customers another deliciously quick and simple way to adapt their favourite meat-based meals.”

Meanwhile, plant-based brand Oumph! has launched three new frozen products in Morrisons stores across the UK. The initial launch includes Pulled Oumph!, Oumph! Kebab Spiced and Oumph! Smoky Bits.

Oumph plant-based NPD Smoky Bits
Oumph! Plant-based Smoky Bits

Nick Jacobs, head of sales at Oumph! in the UK, said: “We are delighted that Morrisons is adding three Oumph! products to its plant-based range and in particular that they are the first UK retailer to launch our delicious Oumph! Smoky Bits.”

Oumph! Smoky Bits is a wheat based product suitable to fry and serve in plant-based carbonara, pies, omelettes and a range of other dishes.

Victoria Norviit, brand & category manager at Oumph! in Sweden, said: “Oumph! Smoky Bits is versatile and suitable for anyone who’s been looking for a really good plant-based alternative to bacon or ham. We believe that Oumph! Smoky Bits will open up new plant-based recipe opportunities and menu ideas."

Chilled-Mediterranean-Chunks Photo Credit_ Heura Foods
Heura's plant-based chicken NPD

Spain's plant-based meat brand Heura has made its debut in the UK, launching with online channel The Vegan Kind and retail chain Planet Organic. Customers can now buy three of the brand’s products, 100% vegetable original chicken bites, Mediterranean chicken bites and strips. Heura claims they are among its most popular lines.

Heura’s 100% plant-based chicken is made from European soy, olive oil, salt, and spices. It boasts the same amount of protein as traditional chicken, with only one third of the fat.

According to data from market research company Mintel, currently 65% of the British population consumes plant-based meat, up from 30% from 2017.

With sales growth of 460% in the past year, Heura claims to be the fastest growing 100% plant-based meat company in Europe. It already has a presence in nine territories worldwide, including France, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Chile.

Marc Coloma, CEO and co-founder of Heura, said: “The UK is the fastest-growing plant-based food market in Europe and coupled with Heura's growth it means this is the right time for us to enter the UK market. We trust in the outstanding nutritional value of our products: our products have a clean label, are among the healthiest available, and our Mediterranean heritage means that we are the only plant-based meat made with olive oil.”

In other developments, start-up Willicroft, which was founded in Amsterdam in 2018, has launched plant-based cheese alternatives into the UK for the first time.

willicroft-fondue
Willicroft's This is Not Cheese Fondue

Having first supplied Waitrose with Aberdeen Angus meat 20 years ago, Willicroft founder Brad Vanstone adopted a plant-based diet in 2016. Unable to find many plant-based cheese alternatives in the supermarket, he was inspired to start making it at home and the company evolved from there.

The Willicroft This is Not Cheese range is launching into three products in Waitrose, Wholefoods and Planet Organic and As Nature Intended stores across the UK and via online retailer The Vegan Kind from 7 October. They are: This is Not Cheese Fondue, available at a recommended retail price (RRP) of £7.50 for 280g; This is Not Classic Cream Cheese, which has an RRP of £3.50 for 135g; and This is Not Grated Cheese Italian Style, which has an RRP of £3.50 for 75g.

The products combine traditional techniques such as fermentation with plant-based ingredients.

“It's humbling that our Fondue, Cream Cheese and Grated Cheese Italian Style Cheese are now available across the UK,"​ said Vanstone. "We've always believed that by focusing on the taste and our environmental footprint in equal measure we would be creating something special and are stoked Waitrose supports us on that mission.” 

PEP Kitchen, the London based vegan ready meal business launched for delivery in 2020, has added a sweet option to its range with the creation of bake-at-home vegan chocolate chip cookies. Made in London and available in a pack of six for £5 for home delivery, PEP said the cookies would sit alongside its other existing main course range inspired by street food cookery from around the world.

Pep kitchen plant-based cookies
PEP Kitchen plant-based cookies

PEP Kitchen was founded with the aim of building a sustainable food business that is good for people’s health and the environment. The founders, both with eight years of professional cooking behind them, have used their experience as restaurant chefs to ensure there is no compromise on a great tasting product and these cookies are no exception.

Co-founder Joe Coulter said: “We wanted to cater for those after dinner cravings with something delicious for our customers and what could be better than a gooey warm chocolate cookie, straight from the oven?” ​Co-founder Ben MacAndrews added: “These might not be for every day, and are a little bit of indulgence, but demonstrate yet again that, when made correctly, vegan or frozen food doesn’t have to be a compromise in any way."

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