Danish Crown, the biggest producer of pork in Europe and the largest beef processor in Denmark, has entered the plant-based market with a range of plant-based food under its Den Grønne Slagter brand, which the company says will bring in “a major double-digit million sum” in sales this year.
“If plant-based food grows as fast as some people think, it will replace something else, and then the best product will win.”
Back in 2019, Danish Crown announced it was to stop slaughtering pigs at one of its facilities in Germany and that it had plans to produce plant-based products and burgers.
“Meat is meat, and plants are plants.”
Five days later, speaking to vegconomist, previous CEO Finn Klostermann revealed that Danish Crown’s vegan products would not resemble meat: “It doesn’t make sense. Meat is meat, and plants are plants. They shouldn’t resemble meat, because they aren’t meat. It still needs to be delicious and taste good.”
The new range – Veggie fars, Veggie Bites, BBQ burger, Nuggets, Schnitzel and Veggie Deller, as well as a Tandoori and Byriani – are made without soy and with either Nordic or organic vegetables as the main ingredient, according to the company’s media release from the 3rd January.
“It’s going to be a bit like champagne, a luxury product”
In October of last year, CEO Jais Valeur spoke out about the environmental impact of his industry. Speaking to Berlingske, he voiced particular concerns about the future of beef. “Beef is not going to be super climate-friendly. It’s going to be a bit like champagne, a luxury product,” he said. He envisions that while people won’t stop eating beef entirely, it will increasingly come from former dairy cows rather than animals bred specifically for meat.
The Danish press quotes Valeur as saying this week, “We are of course a slaughterhouse, but we are also a food company, so when consumers move, we move with them,” and, interestingly, “If plant-based food grows as fast as some people think, it will replace something else, and then the best product will win.”
“When we diversify, it is important to us that we are able to offer products that taste good and are easy for consumers to prepare. We now have those products, and as one of Denmark’s largest food suppliers, we wish to contribute to developing the supply of plant-based products. We foresee growing demand for alternative proteins in the years ahead, so the products we are now launching represent our first small step into that market,” says Jais Valeur.
It’s a step in the right direction, or, the only direction if we are to save this planet.