Plant-based diets are officially here to stay, according to Unilever CEO Alan Jope.
Speaking to the Guardian, Jope remarked: “We are seeing in every single country in the world a shift towards more plant-based diets, even in emerging markets.”
He insists that plant-based alternatives are not merely a fad, but an ‘inexorable’ trend, meaning it is unstoppable.
In recognising the inevitable continuation of the plant-based trend, Unilever aims to capitalise on this by increasing sales of plant-based diet alternatives to €1 billion by the year 2027, an increase of five-fold.
Unilever is behind popular brands Ben & Jerry’s, Magnum and Hellmann’s, all of which have increased their vegan offerings in the past few years. For Veganuary, Hellmann’s caused a stir on social media with the addition of a bacon flavoured vegan mayo which tastes like the real thing.
Unilever invests in the plant-based rise
Unilever is taking the rise of plant-based diets seriously, and in December 2019 it invested €85 million in The Hive – a new food development centre. The Hive will involve the collaboration of academic researchers, start-ups and other partners to innovate new products such as plant-based meats and sustainable food packaging.
And Unilever isn’t stopping there. The company aims to acquire more of the plant-based beauty and nutrition sectors, which are significant growth areas for the next few years. Unilever already owns upmarket vegan beauty brand REN, and the plant-based beauty industry is increasingly gaining popularity.
We can’t wait to see all the new products emerging from The Hive!
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