Morten Toft Bech, the Dutch founder of plant-based company Meatless Farm, launched his company in an effort to save the planet.
“Animal protein is unsustainable,” claims Bech, comparing it to driving an old car full of polluting fuel.
The public has been made aware of this argument for years, with numerous documentaries warning about how the meat industry is responsible for releasing large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
But, now it appears some consumers are swapping poultry for plants to save cash.
A recent study conducted by research group Mintel, showed that 35 per cent of supermarket shoppers are scaling back on meat products or cutting it out all together to maximise their budgets.
Bech says that while the cost of living crisis is obviously tough on consumers, he sees this moment as an opportunity for shoppers to both save money and help the environment.
Bech said that Meatless Farm products are currently about the same price as medium quality meat, where a package of Meatless Farm mince costs around £2.75 and Sainsbury’s own brand 12 per cent fat mince is priced at around £2.90.
He hopes, however, that prices will come down even further in the next few years.
“You are going to see that cost coming down because the volumes are going up, and we start gaining some of those efficiencies of essentially just larger volume,” he said.
“We don’t want price to be the reason why you don’t eat a more sustainable protein on your plate.”
Meatless Farm has seen its 2022 sales up 30 per cent year on year, with Bech predicting to reach £25m in sales by the end of the year.
This is much less than market leaders such as Quorn or Beyond Meat, which have generated sales of £224.9m and $79.9m in the past year respectively.
But, since its conception in 2016, the group has also seen its combined growth rate reach 69 per cent, and is looking to close a £35m investment round next month.
Bech says that the group has seen a lot of interest from private companies who have ESG in its mandate and are looking to “invest money now for the future”.
The company currently has three manufacturing points in Canada, mainland Europe and Leeds, but he hopes to expand the firm’s UK operations with funds from the investment round.
In the meantime, Bech said the firm is looking to focus on its major deals with Pret a Manger and TGI Fridays, which he said are crucial to winning shoppers’ hard-earned pounds in the supermarkets.
“You have a successful experience as a consumer in a restaurant and then you’re more likely to go into a supermarket and say, I’m going to try this myself.”