Buzzy US food company Beyond Meat (BYND) has announced plans to open its first factory in Europe, marking its first push into overseas production.
Beyond Meat said in a statement on Thursday that it had acquired a factory in the Netherlands and hoped to have production of its plant-based burgers and sausages up and running by the end of the year. It will be the company’s first wholly owned production site outside of Missouri, USA.
The company has also partnered with a local Dutch company Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat to start co-production of its products immediately at another factory owned by Zandbergen.
“This latest investment in production capacity reflects our continued commitment to serving global markets,” Ethan Brown, founder and chief executive of Beyond Meat, said in a statement.
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“Our new facility in Enschede will not only bring production closer to the consumer, representing an investment in the markets and communities we serve, but is expected to allow us to leverage local supply chains, improving our cost structure and sustainability of operations.
“We are excited to take this next step in bringing the nutritional and environmental benefits of our plant-based meats to the European consumer.”
Brown founded Beyond Meat in Los Angeles in 2009 as a cutting edge “meat alternative” manufacturer. The company uses plant proteins to simulate burgers and sausages with the flavour and texture of beef, chicken, and other meats.
Along with rival Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat has rode a wave of veganism and lower meat consumption in recent years. The company listed on the Nasdaq last year and is currently worth $9.7bn (£7.6bn).
Beyond Meat first launched in the UK in 2018 and is stocked by Tesco, among others.
“The consumer response in Europe has been very positive and we look forward to being able to better serve those customers with locally produced products,” Seth Goldman, executive chairman of Beyond Meat, said in a statement.
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Adriaan Figee, chief commercial officer of Zandbergen World’s Finest Meat, said: “As the demand for plant-based products continues to expand in Europe, we are thrilled to be partnering with Beyond Meat to produce their innovative products outside the U.S.”