Marcus Keitzer was appointed by PHW Group in 2018 as board member for alternative proteins to lead the company’s Alternative Protein Business Unit.
Guest Post From PHW’s Marcus Keitzer – the Year in Review
2019 was an exciting and challenging year for our newly founded business division of alternative proteins. In Q1, we presented the second generation of protein products together with Beyond Meat and JUST at the INTERNORGA. Starting in June, the Beyond Burger was available in stores. Our customers’ feedback excites us, and we are very satisfied with the product’s listing. Currently we are working on the launch of the Beyond Sausage. In the summer, we announced our distribution partnership with AIXA Trade, which has brought the first vegan mozzarella to market. The product will be available in spring of 2020. There is also news regarding our own vegan products: Since July, our Veggie Bologna has been free of soy, which is viewed more and more critically. Its main ingredients are now pea and potato protein.
Going forward, it is our goal to increasingly position ourselves as a supplier of high-quality protein products, always based on our current and future core business field ‘poultry’. Our strategy in the segment of alternative proteins is primarily based on a ‘three-pillar-structure’: Establishing our own product portfolio, targeted investments in suitable businesses and distribution partnerships.
We are certainly in the beginning stages, but we have occupied several topics – from alternatives to meat, fish and eggs to insects – and will continue to do so in the coming years. I am proud that we could strengthen our portfolio of protein products. These products don’t target only the vegan audience. The new generation of vegan products creates a taste experience that comes very close to the original. Appearance, texture, the products’ bite and the preparation experience are nearly identical. This makes the products interesting for flexitarians, who view them as an alternative to meat, thereby creating enormous market potential. If the product is tasty, the customers are more than willing to consume it in addition to meat. The taste is the critical aspect for the success.
The high amount of attention for this new generation of plant-based products helps the entire market, which is a pleasant development. In the future, plant-based alternatives will have a significant market share. Because capital increasingly flows into the development of plant-based products, it is also to be expected that further interesting, good products with high consumer acceptance will make it to market.