Ben Davy – former development chef at restaurants famous for their meat dishes such as the Ox Club, Belgrave Music Hall and Water Lane Boathouse – will take up the role. His remit is to spearhead the taste and texture development of new and existing products within Meatless Farm’s portfolio.
Commenting on his appointment, Davy said: “My experience has a focus on creating sustainable dishes and championing ethical food, often including meat.
Developing meat alternatives
“Joining Meatless Farm is a natural extension of that ethos, and an important step for me and I can’t wait to use my knowledge of flavour to help develop Meatless Farm’s next generation meat alternatives.
“Despite foodservice facing huge challenges, there is growing demand for quality plant-based food on menus in addition to on shelf.”
Meatless Farm recently announced it had raised £24m to drive global growth and innovation. The funding followed a previous round of £13.1m raised by the company. Davy’s appointment is also hot on the heels of the company’s recent professional range extension which now includes plant-based mince, burgers, sausages, meatballs, free-flow mince, ready to heat Bolognese and cannelloni.
Growing consumer demand
A spokeswoman for Meatless Farm told Food Manufacture at the time: "Consumer demand for plant-based options is growing exponentially. We have a very exciting NPD [new product development] plan in place, but importantly we won’t rush innovation to market. The category is at a tipping point and getting it right is much more important than being first if we want to really convert meat eaters.
Meatless Farm claimed there had been a seismic shift in consumers buying habits due to the coronavirus pandemic, prompting shoppers to opt for plant-based food to promote personal health and sustainability.
Further research by the plant-based manufacturer suggested one in three consumers would like the option to ‘go meatless’ on all dishes rather than a separate menu.
Meanwhile, dairy ingredients firm Meadow Foods has announced the appointment of Per Harkjaer as chairman.