Members of food and drink industry welcome Plant & Bean rescue

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Plant & Bean went into administration in May 2023
Plant & Bean went into administration in May 2023

Related tags plant-based Plant & Bean Factory administration vegan Protein

Food and drink industry bodies have welcomed news that the facilities of vegan food producer Plant & Bean were sold to two businesses owned by vegan activist Heather Mills.

Vegan Solo Consultancy and Duo Renevations, both run by Mills, completed the purchase of Plant & Bean’s factory and equipment from administrators Interpath Advisory earlier this month (June 2023).

Plant & Bean produced meat-free products for brands including Quorn and Wicked Kitchen out of its Lincolnshire factory but went into administration in May 2023​.

The manufacturer had suffered from rising costs and operational issues which had caused disruptions to its production.

Plant-based facilities saved

Helen Breewood, research and resource manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, welcomed news of the sale, but told Food Manufacture that the predicament which faced Plant & Bean is emblematic of the issues facing the wider industry.

“The fact that this company had faced administration demonstrates the challenging environment confronting the plant-based sector – along with the entire food industry – with companies tackling issues such as rising inflation and economic uncertainty,” Breewood said.​ 

“However, our recent NielsenIQ analysis showed the overall trajectory for plant-based meat is one of growth, with sales increasing to €2 billion across 13 European countries last year.This fast-moving sector is just getting started and writing it off because it’s facing challenges now would be like dismissing solar panels in the 1990s.

“Next-generation products offering significantly improved taste, price and nutrition are beginning to come to market, but the sector will only be truly successful when it can deliver food as tasty, affordable and convenient as conventional meat. Governments and the private sector must invest in R&D and build the infrastructure to ensure sustainable proteins can deliver on their potential.”

Sustainable diets remain important

Meanwhile, Plant-based Food Alliance chief executive Marisa Heath told Food Manufacture that it is important business in the plant-based space are kept afloat.

It is a tough environment for many businesses, and we are still at the beginning of the plant-based evolution, so it is vital we help important businesses like Plant & Bean through this time​,” Heath added.

“These challenges do not take us away from the fact that we need to shift to more sustainable diets and that plant-based foods are a huge part of that and here to stay. Indeed, we are seeing a plant-based sector which is getting more collaborative and clearer in its focus.”

Related topics Plant-Based Operations

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