After recently launching the UK’s first Vegan scotch egg into Tesco supermarkets, Squeaky Bean is now set for a huge investment injection as the plant-based producer looks to meet the increasing demand for plant-based chilled foods. Winterbotham Darby, the brand’s parent company, has announced a £5 million investment in Squeaky Bean to open a second state-of-the-art facility.
“Demand for plant-based produce is increasing rapidly and in recent months our operations have been stretched to capacity”
UK food supplier Winterbotham Darby will invest £5 million into the operations of Squeaky Bean, its alt meat brand, opening a second dedicated plant-based manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes. The 48,000ft² facility will significantly boost Squeaky Bean’s production and distribution capabilities in the rapidly expanding chilled plant-based segment.
Squeaky Bean has driven growth in this segment, turning over £7.5 million in the last year. The investment will create more than 100 jobs in the area, contributing to the UK’s growing plant-based economy. Through its parent company Winterbotham Darby, Squeaky Bean was announced as Plant-Based Food Manufacturer of the Year at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards this year.
UK Plant-Based Growth
The move reflects the integration of the UK plant-based scene into mainstream food culture, with the UK government’s recently commissioned National Food Strategy urging people to reduce their meat consumption. Squeaky Bean’s own research also found that 25% of people in the UK want to eat more plant-based foods at lunchtime and 24% have cut down their meat consumption since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Demand for plant-based produce is increasing rapidly and in recent months our operations have been stretched to capacity. Opening our second plant-based factory will help us to fulfil both existing and new opportunities and is testament to our belief in the category. As UK consumers’ expectations of plant-based food increase, more people are discovering how Squeaky Bean Chargrilled Mini Fillets offer all the taste and texture of real chicken – but are made entirely from plants. Our additional production capacity will support strong demand for these products and allow us to introduce these and the rest of the range, to a bigger audience than ever before,” commented Tom Faulkner, head of plant-based at Winterbotham Darby.