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Interview: How QuornPro plans to supply the ‘protein of choice for chefs’

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

QuornPro will serve the alternative protein manufacturer's foodservice customers. Credit: Quorn
QuornPro will serve the alternative protein manufacturer's foodservice customers. Credit: Quorn

Related tags alternative protein

Food Manufacture speaks to Andrea Deutschmanek of Quorn's foodservice division about the decision to rebrand as QuornPro.

Founded in 1985, Quorn manufactures a range of alternatives protein products for the retail and foodservice sectors and has become a leader within the burgeoning meat free category.

Its range, which includes items such as sausages, burgers and mince, is made using mycoprotein, a natural form of protein that is created through the fermentation of a natural fungus called Fusarium venenatum.

Today, Quorn products are stocked in grocery stores in 14 countries around the world, in addition to being served in foodservice settings like restaurants, bars and cafes. However, the retail arm has tended to garner more attention owing to its greater longevity and widespread footprint. As a result, the foodservice business unit has decided to act.

Enter QuornPro

Starting this month (September 2023), a new look for the foodservice division will be phased in under the name QuornPro.

The rebrand was designed in a bid to change the perception of Quorn as simply a meat alternative and instead reframe its range as a collection of protein solutions that “excite​” foodservice customers and promise to deliver “nutritious and tasty meals​”.

Quorn conducted extensive research in advance of making the change, with the repositioning including a new brand identity and mission statement that creates a sense of differentiation from the retail unit.

Speaking to Food Manufacture, Andrea Deutschmanek, head of marketing for the UK and EU at QuornPro, said that the division felt it was time to “define its mission​” in clearer and more certain terms. Given Quorn’s history in the alternative protein market, she thought that its products needed a “fresh light​” shined on them as they compete in a crowded market place that includes plenty of upstarts.

Quorn Foodservice was originally born out of the retail unit and has now been around for more than 10 years, but we needed to establish our own identity​,” Deutschmanek explained.

Chefs are unique, and the foodservice industry is very different from retail, so we wanted to create a brand that reflects that. We value the respect and equity that the retail division has built up, especially in the UK, and we want to complement that​.”

Deutschmanek joined Quorn at the start of 2022 and has since been involved in a “deep dive​” into how it can best present its offering moving forward. After conducting this research the team settled on the name QuornPro, something they agreed was “short, modern and visionary​” and less “dusty​” than the previous identity.

We wanted a word that travelled internationally and could appeal to foodservice businesses around the world​,” Deutschmanek added.

Becoming a ‘protein of choice’

To accompany the repositioning of the brand, QuornPro is investing in an extensive programme of new product development (NPD) aimed at offering greater choice. However, it will not be replacing its existing range, which Deutschmanek said the division retains great levels of confidence in.

She elaborated: “We are always identifying opportunities and methods for innovation, taking on board ideas from chefs, consumers and the wider industry​. We want to become a protein powerhouse – a protein of choice for chefs based on our core range and exciting new additions.”

To achieve this, Deutschmanek said that QuornPro will look to utilise the decades of scientific and sensory research that it has access to, a bank of knowledge and information that “no other brand in our category can replicate​”. In recent years, the division has also built up its EU-wide culinary team under the leadership of Paul Jennings, a move that Deutschmanek believes strengthens its “food-first strategy​”.

In the past we have been selling bags of frozen food, now we are selling solution​s,” she added.

To support the repositioning, QuornPro will expand its sales and operations team alongside the process of embedding the new brand identity both internally and externally. While internal processes have already begun, the division hopes that the utilisation of consumer insights and a collaborative approach can grow its appeal among foodservice businesses.

We are closely focused on trends within the industry and we are aware of how Quorn is sometimes viewed​,” Deutschmanek said.

Within chef circles we weren’t always seen as the most inspiring and forward-looking brand, partly due to how long we have been around. However, when we conduct blind tastings or help chefs explore the variety of dishes they can make with our products, they are blown away​.”

While Quorn was once ahead of its time, it is aware of the need to refresh and move with the winds of change. The hope is that this bold repositioning can achieve the desired effect.

We want to get across the expert knowledge and culinary experience that exists within the company​,” concluded Deutschmanek.

Elsewhere, Finsbury Food Group is set to be acquired in a deal worth £143.4m​.

Related topics NPD Plant-Based

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