Plant & Bean—a United Kingdom-based developer and manufacturer of plant-based food products—is set to open Europe’s largest plant-based meat production facility. Located in Boston, Lincolnshire, the 65-acre site will have a planned initial capacity of 55,000 metric tons and will provide sub-scale companies, larger international brands, and retailers with a fully-certified European manufacturing platform to help them meet the growing demand for plant-based meat products and accelerate international expansion.
Slashing cost of plant-based meat
In addition to manufacturing, a key pillar of Plant & Bean’s business model is its “ecosystem of collaborative innovation,” which brings together research institutions and food-tech companies to drive technological development to improve the quality and lower the cost of plant-based meat products. Plant & Bean has so far partnered with global food product development company Griffith Foods, manufacturer and ingredient supplier Gushen, and research institutes Wageningen University and Singapore Institute of Technology. As part of its research and development, Plant & Bean is currently working to develop a computational breeding technology to achieve a 50-percent reduction in the cost of peas and beans, optimizing protein extraction at a significantly lower cost, and improving texture generation, focusing on improved extrusion technology to drive higher machine efficiencies, lower energy use, and better plant-based meat textures.
“Today’s announcement underscores our commitment to repair what is a broken food system,” Plant & Bean CEO Edwin Bark said. “Right now, 65 percent of consumers do not eat plant-based meats due to price and quality. With our two-pronged approach, we believe we are best placed to make the meaningful change required to tackle these issues. With our progressive global manufacturing strategy, brands will finally have the means to scale high-volume product ranges in order to lower the price-point for consumers. As regards [to] product quality, we are making huge strides in improving the taste, texture, and appearance of plant-based meat—bringing together the brightest minds in the food industry to reinvent the way we make plant-based meat at the ingredient and process level.”
Plant & Bean plans to replicate the new UK site with production facilities in the US next year and China in 2022.