Germany’s bedda, a plant-based subsidiary of Big Food Group, offers a portfolio of dairy- free products which ranges from vegan cheese alternatives and delicatessen salads to spreads and desserts. The products are always free from soy, palm oil, flavour enhancers and gluten.
The company says it develops, produces and markets versatile product solutions for the modern zeitgeist.
We spoke with Nele Kunath, Head of Sales International & Private Labels, and Frank Mayerhofer, Head of Marketing and Business Development.
What kind of services can the BIGFOOD GROUP offer retail, food service, and industry partners?
Frank Mayerhofer: The BIGFOOD GROUP develops, produces, and distributes a diverse range of concept and product solutions for a modern vegan and vegetarian diet, for retail, food service, and ecommerce – from sauces, dips, and dressings through to gently produced HPP juices up to healthy snacks and a full, modern range of cheese specialities and cheese alternatives.
With our bedda brand, we offer 100% delicious and vegan dairy and cheese alternatives, which can certainly hold their own with the ‘original’ products in terms of taste and enjoyment.
What plant-based products can you produce for customers?
Nele Kunath: Our plant-based core business currently revolves around cheese alternative products, incl. cream cheese alternatives, as well as sauces, dips, and dressings, which we successfully market both on the German as well as international markets.
Our key specialities are the development of plant or fruit-based products without additives, low sugar products, and organic raw materials that meet the demands of the German Nutrition Association [DGE]. For us, organic packaging made from PLA is equally self-evident as environmentally friendly logistics and using 100% renewable energy for production.
Of course, we continue working on further sustainable packaging solutions, something both the market and consumers can already look forward to.
The bedda brand is part of the company group; what kind of range does the brand currently offer?
Frank Mayerhofer: bedda is our vegan brand. It stands for great taste without remorse. All flexitarians, vegetarians, and vegans benefit from a diverse range of cheese and milk product alternatives – from bedda Hirte (a sheep’s cheese alternative) and bedda slices (from Classic to Fenugreek) up to cream cheese alternatives, dips, and sauces such as aioli and hollandaise. The products build on bedda’s strengths: soy-free, gluten-free, without palm oil, without flavour enhancers. Consumers appreciate the stellar taste and quality, as demonstrated by a value growth of 182% YoY (source: GfK).
What innovations will bedda present in 2021?
Frank Mayerhofer: Specifically, we will introduce the bedda Block Chili on 01.03, bedda Vegarella (already grated, a mozzarella alternative), as well as bedda Remoulade. From 01.05, we will then launch the fresh bedda whip, an excellent alternative for whipped cream. Additional exciting and promising product initiatives are scheduled for the second half of the year.
Why should bedda be on the shelves of all retailers?
Nele Kunath: bedda demonstrated market-leading growth in 2020 and was decisive in pushing forward the category. In 2021, focus will continue to be on growth, forcing our growth with an integrated communications campaign with TV, digital, trade magazine, and POS support. bedda’s eating enjoyment ensures great consumer acceptance and the broad assortment and range addresses the need to have a better product offering on-shelf. As previously mentioned, bedda products are gluten and soy-free, and all the sliced products have added calcium and vitamin B12, to support a well-balanced diet. Our retail partners and consumers will be delighted by our delicious and promising offering.
What is the position of bedda outside of Germany? Are you looking for partners?
Nele Kunath: We have a European Team, which currently operates from Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy, with the Czech Republic responsible for Eastern Europe. The German-speaking countries, Nordics, and Benelux Region are serviced from Hamburg. We operate both in direct sales and with sales partners in these countries, and are continuously pushing to expand our partner network. The brand is already available from retailers in Austria, Holland, France, and Eastern Europe. New contacts are always welcome.