Food manufacturer Unilever has rolled out a series of targets for vegan food production which includes growing a €1 billion (£900m) plant-based business by 2027.
Unilever, which owns well-known brands Hellman’s and Ben & Jerry’s, said consumers can expect to see a range of vegan products coming from all of its brands as it targets “more accessible, affordable and appetising” plant-based options.
Hanneke Faber, president of Unilever’s foods & refreshment division, said: “It’s not up to us to decide for people what they want to eat, but it is up to us to make healthier and plant-based options accessible to all.”
Unilever has already made significant strides in the plant-based industry, by acquiring plant-based meat brand The Vegetarian Butcher two years ago and also by supplying Burger King with its vegetarian Whopper.
“The average person’s daily diet will need to change drastically during the next three decades to make sure everyone is fed without depleting the planet. By transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food waste, we can begin to solve these problems.”
As part of the ‘Future Foods’ initiative, the company is aiming to drive consumers towards healthier diets through a number of commitments, which also include halving food waste in its operations and doubling the number of products that deliver positive nutrition by 2025. Unilever is also committing to lowering calories, salt and sugar across all its products.
In justifying its position, Unilever cited Jessica Fanzo, associate professor of global food & agricultural policy and ethics at Johns Hopkins University in the USA, who said: “The average person’s daily diet will need to change drastically during the next three decades to make sure everyone is fed without depleting the planet. By transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food waste, we can begin to solve these problems.
“Unilever’s commitments are integral to helping people make changes to their diet, with products they know and love.”