Meat processor ABP Food Group, industry leaders based in Ireland and operating around the UK and Europe, is the latest in a line of meat producers and distributors to announce that they will be venturing into the plant-based market with an own-brand vegan line.
The brand, named “Equals”, which bears on its packaging the slogan “No meat. No compromise”, will be available from the first week of March. The first product to be available on the Equals line will be a quarter-pounder burger containing pea and soy protein.
Earlier this year, Finnebrogue Artisan, one of the UK’s leading sausage and bacon producers, created almost 100 job opportunities at a new vegan and vegetarian food factory in County Down, Northern Ireland. The Irish dairy industry is also increasingly moving towards plant-based alternatives, as we reported this month.
ABP, owned by businessman Larry Goodman, states that the new launch is part of a “multi-million pound” drive to move into the plant-based sector, and is supporting the move with a £250,000 marketing and social media campaign with Asda. According to Farmers Weekly, ABP will later expand the offering to further retail outlets.
Darren Jones, commercial director for ABP UK, commented: “We are very excited about our first fresh brand launch into the meat-free category. Our core business is and will remain in beef but we recognise the growing demand for products that fit a flexitarian and meat-free lifestyle. As a business, we have long invested in understanding market and consumer trends and we have a keen interest in exploring opportunities that provide consumers with choice.”