Unilever’s annual report reveals that the company’s plant-based meat alternative brand, The Vegetarian Butcher, reached growth peaks of 70% in Q4 of 2020. Unilever announced ambitious growth targets for its plant-based division last year, aiming to achieve at least one billion in sales of plant-based products in the next 5-7 years.
Speaking to the Guardian, Unilever CEO Alan Jope described the rise of plant-based foods as an unstoppable trend. Unilever sees a shift towards more plant-based diets in every single country in the world, even in emerging markets and other poorer regions of the world.
In addition to The Vegetarian Butcher, Unilever offers many other plant-based products, such as vegan ice cream from Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s, and vegan mayonnaise products from Hellmann’s, which Jope said is “doing brilliantly”.
The Vegetarian Butcher expanded its meat alternative brand into countless markets last year through a recent cooperation with Burger King. In December Unilever announced that the plant-based patty had “been launched simultaneously in 325 Burger King outlets across Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou, with nationwide roll-out plans from Q2 2021. Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Suriname, Saint Martin and Saint Kitts are the first Latin American and Caribbean countries to add the Plant-Based WHOPPER, powered by The Vegetarian Butcher, to the Burger King menu; with more markets to follow throughout 2021. The news comes hot on the heels of launches across the Middle East and North Africa, marking The Vegetarian Butcher’s entry into UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Morocco”
The burger also rolled out into Japan in December in addition to its existing plant-based Whopper which can be found throughout Europe.