Meadow Foods, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of dairy ingredients, recently invested £4 million in a new plant-based manufacturing facility – as explained to vegconomist by the group’s CEO in 2020. The state-of-the-art process and packing plant is now fully functional, with its plant-based range – called ‘Plant’, for its retail brand The Collective – now in all UK major retailers.
The brand claims its first products to be the UK’s first dairy-free, Greek-style yogurt, which are made from a unique blend of oats, coconut, and rice in the UK. Going forward, the dedicated and segregated facility will also produce plant-based drinks, cream, sour cream, soft cheese, milk, custard, and other dairy alternative products and ingredients.
The Meadow Foods site, manufactured and installed by Gemak, a specialist in engineering solutions for plant-based and dairy production facilities, is based in Chester in the north of England. Just over 100 miles away stands the recently established Plant & Bean site in Lincolnshire which claims to be the biggest vegan meat facility in Europe, as the north of England increasingly benefits from manufacturing activity in this industry (see VBites, Beau’s, Dr Oetker).
Ciaran Adam, Product Manager, from The Collective stated “After 2 years of tinkering, building, and designing we are very proud to finally reveal the first plant-based Greek-style yogurt in the UK made from a blend of oats, coconut, and rice in a fully segregated facility. Grown from a love of dairy and made from plants. The products come in a PET tub made from 100% recycled plastic and are available nationwide at Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Asda.
“We have been in contact with Gemak for nearly 2 years and having seen their high-quality work on other plants and because of their experience with yogurt processing, they were our preferred supplier. The team at Gemak have worked closely with us throughout the project and have been a great asset in delivering the project on time during unprecedented times.”