Bernat Añaños Martinez is one of the most prominent activists in our industry, and the Spanish plant meat brand he co-founded in 2017 – Heura – is equally one of the most active organisations working hard to bring about change in the food industry.
We at vegconomist have always been huge supporters of the Catalonian food activists. One of our favourite moments from Bernat was when he spoke in Glasgow at last year’s COP26, addressing the elephant in the room: why were these politicians completely avoiding the role of food in our climate crisis?
Bernat appealed to the panel audience: “It is surprising that at COP 26 we are not debating this as one of the main topics… food should be at the very centre. It is irresponsible that meat is served in this restaurant, it doesn’t make any sense! Would you imagine going to a cancer conference and giving cigarettes at the door?”
And this is why we salute him.
What role does sustainability play in your innovations?
Heura is a mission-turned business that has always had sustainability as a key pillar for outstanding business practices. Our whole purpose is to create eco-friendly solutions that will help consumers join the plant-based protein transition.
Our whole purpose is to create eco-friendly solutions that will help consumers join the plant-based protein transition.
Do you plan to launch any new products this year?
With the mission to create animal meat successors, Heura is committed to breaking new ground in tech innovation. The company will continue its laser focus on developing innovations that cascade across the product line to create the most delicious and healthy plant-based meats available.
This year, the company’s unique, 100% olive oil fat analog will remain centre stage, while its commitment to clean labels and high nutritional profiles will drive up to 10 new product launches.
How has Heura grown in the last year?
With the aim to create an informed community of good rebels that understands the power of plant-based eating, Heura has become Europe’s fastest-growing plant-based meat company.
In 2021 we more than doubled the number of households that consume Heura compared with the previous year, paving the way for this mission-driven company to uproot the current food system and elevate it into one that’s better for the planet, people, and animals.
In 2021 we more than doubled the number of households that consume Heura
The company closed 2021 with €17.7 million in turnover, up from €8 million in 2020. With its most successful year in its nearly five-year history, Heura has expanded its reach to 20 countries, up from 13 just last year, and had YOY points of sale increase from 3,000 to 13,000. The exponential growth we are experiencing demonstrates that the future will be plant-based.
How do you think your brand plays a role in this growth?
As a mission-tuned business, Heura is rooted in social activism. Our goal has always been to create and foster a community of informed Good Rebels who are out to accelerate positive change.
With more than 275k changemakers, Heura has one of the most active communities in food-tech globally with an engagement rate 8 times higher than competitor average. Those who follow and consume the brand consequently support what we stand for and embrace it. For us, sustainability and growth are intrinsic to outstanding business practices.
As a mission-tuned business, Heura is rooted in social activism
Communicating with Good Rebels around the world, we drive home the impact of their food choices, as we believe every meal is an opportunity to vote for the world they want to live in.
How is Packaging 3.0 different from the previous iterations?
This new packaging offers increased strength and durability. The update sees the chilled products evolve their 2.0 packaging format, which featured cardboard packaging with a plastic seal. The creation of the new R-PET packaging sees 75% less renewable energy used, 50% less use of fossil fuels, 44% less non-renewable energy used, 40% fewer emissions of polluting gasses used, and 14% less water consumption.
The packaging for Heura’s chilled products now comprises 3 parts: a 92% R-PET tray, a plastic film, and an FSC-certified cardboard sleeve.
Why did you choose to address it at this time?
We have engaged in several research works that have helped us improve every step of the way. After talking to several academic members in the field, we realized there was room for improvement and decided to take action right away.
We are committed to accelerating the protein transition with high investment in tech and our activism through entrepreneurship.
As the informed consumer continues to make educated decisions, we are committed to accelerating the protein transition with high investment in tech and our activism through entrepreneurship. The company will continue to make data-driven decisions that help it take the greatest steps throughout its ever-evolving sustainability journey.
How important is it for brands to pursue these sustainable credentials in a genuine way?
Consumers are now more than ever looking to adopt brands that embrace eco-friendly practices throughout their whole value chain.
According to a 2021 survey by Forrester Analytics, environmental impact is top of the consumer’s mind. Only in the UK, 49% of adults are even more likely to prefer buying environmentally sustainable products that care for materials and origins. Thus, 100% transparency is key when communicating sustainable actions taken that lead to improvement.
As Europe’s fastest-growing plant-based meat company, Heura understands how crucial it is to cater to its information and values-oriented consumers. It has made sure all areas of its production line are as sustainable as possible. This is why it recently launched its Packaging 3.0 with R-PET and gave access to the data behind this decision; helping consumers make confident purchases.
Regarding international expansion, what’s ahead for Heura?
Our growth aligns with our long-term vision to become the number one player in Europe and our constant development of innovations that cascade across the product line.
Having already established itself as the preferred plant-based meat brand in Spain, with rapid expansion across the UK, France and Italy, Heura is committed to creating an international presence reaching new markets. It will also continue to prioritize achieving price parity, to help make plant-based foods more accessible to all.