Last month, Quorn Foods announced the opening of a state-of-the-art Culinary Development Center in Dallas, TX, following the appointment of new leadership team in the US, with Judd Zusel as President and Stephen A. Kalil as Executive Chef.
We were pleased to speak with Judd and Stephen about the future of Quorn in the USA as the British brand continues to thrive along with the rise of plant-based business around the world.
Please describe your current product portfolio.
Quorn products are versatile, convenient and have an incredibly similar taste and texture to real meat. In the USA customers can find our Meatless Quorn meatless grounds, pieces, and nuggets.
With Executive Chef Stephen and the opening of our Culinary Innovation Center in Dallas, Quorn is paving the way for new exciting alternative chicken innovations, bringing expertise and experience no other meat-free protein brand can. The natural fibrosity of mycoprotein means its texture is much closer to meat than any other plant-based protein. In blind taste tests, the majority of consumers cannot tell the difference between Quorn and chicken.
Where can US consumers now find Quorn products?
Quorn is available at almost every major grocery retailer throughout the U.S., including Whole Foods, Walmart and Kroger stores in the frozen food section. You can find a store near you with our store locator: https://www.quorn.us/buy-now
What’s next in the expansion and innovation pipeline for Quorn US?
With new leadership, our state-of-the-art culinary center and a significant investment from our parent company Monde Nissin Corp., we believe we’re well-positioned for accelerated growth as the category leader in chicken alternatives. In terms of Quorn’s pipeline, we’re looking forward to the launch of a brand-new line of products later this year – our line of Meatless ChiQin Cutlets – and are excited to continue innovating and launching new products over the next five years.
In addition, we’re planning to continue innovating on a sustainability front, especially in terms of bringing carbon labeling (currently featured on all UK products) to our U.S. products.
Hi Stephen – tell us more about your new role as Executive Chef.
As the Executive Chef of Quorn Foods, my primary role is to lead the culinary arm for the brand along with our new Culinary Development Center in Dallas, where I’m based.
I develop recipes using Quorn products, lead the charge with new product development and work with our research team on new uses and applications of mycoprotein in food. In terms of the day-to-day, it really depends on the day. One thing I really love about this role is that I truly don’t know what’s in store for me each day – it keeps things exciting.
What differentiates Quorn products from other alt meat products on the market?
We understand that Quorn buyers incorporate meatless options into their diets for a variety of reasons—its taste, health benefits or impact on the environment. Quorn’s mycoprotein has great nutritional value due to its unique combination of high protein and fiber, as well as being low in saturated fat, and our un-breaded products like meatless grounds and pieces contain no cholesterol. It is also the most land-light protein on the planet.
“If you were to swap one meal with Quorn meatless grounds it’s the equivalent of saving enough water for 21 showers!”
While we do think our history in the category gives us a competitive advantage, we think that our commitment to bettering the planet (and ourselves) sets us apart. Our Meatless grounds use 90% less land to produce than real beef, and our chicken-style products have 70% lower carbon emissions than animal protein. If you were to swap one meal with Quorn meatless grounds it’s the equivalent of saving enough water for 21 showers! When it comes to taste and texture; Quorn’s mycoprotein is incredibly similar to meat which makes it easy for people to choose food that is good for their own health and for the planet.
How does working with Quorn’s mycoprotein differ from animal-based proteins? Are there culinary challenges? What are the benefits?
Other than different cook times/instructions, there isn’t really that much of a difference. Much like animal-based proteins, our mycoprotein is extremely versatile and malleable. In terms of prep, you can season it or marinate it just like you would any animal protein.
Because of the texture of mycoprotein, it’s very similar to that of chicken – especially once it cooks up. The benefits are endless, in my opinion. Not only is it healthy for you, but also the planet. Our Quorn mycoprotein has great nutritional value, as it is a complete protein, is high in fiber, low in saturated fat and contains no cholesterol. In addition, mycoprotein is the most land-light protein on the planet and uses 90% less water and carbon emissions than animal protein.
How does the new Culinary Development Center fit into your strategy and priorities?
Quorn’s new Culinary Development Center in Dallas is designed to replicate QSR stores and kitchens, encouraging easy collaboration between potential partners.
A power player in the global meat alternative category, Quorn is looking to up its presence in the US and use the Culinary Development Center to highlight the meat alternative’s accessibility and efficiency.
Quorn products are versatile, convenient and taste great thanks to mycoprotein, so you can choose to eat it everywhere, at home with your family to restaurants. The new Culinary Development Center in Dallas is intended to help us expand on these relationships and is designed to replicate QSR stores, encouraging easy collaboration between potential partners.