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Meadow Foods invests £4m in plant-based product manufacturing
Meadow Foods has announced plans to build a new segregated facility at its Chester site to produce a range of plant-based products.
The £4m investment will see Meadow Foods utilise its experience and knowledge to manufacture an array of high quality plant-based ingredients consisting of milks, creams, yoghurts, and custard, with opportunities to expand the portfolio to consider sour creams, soft cheese and a base for mousse.
The new range reflects market trends that suggest 46% of UK consumers tried plant-based alternatives at least once in 2019.
Building works commenced in January 2020 at Chester, with food production expected to begin by the end of 2020.
Mark Chantler, CEO of Meadow Foods, said: “We’re excited to be developing our capabilities and capacity to manufacture a range of plant-based products that extend the strength and depth of our product portfolio.
“This decision is in direct response to consumers who are choosing to make lifestyle changes and purchase new and innovative products as well as demand from our customers for high quality, valued added plant-based ingredients.
“Dairy remains core to our business and we will continue to explore strategic investments, partnerships and acquisitions that extend the range of quality products we are able to offer our customers, allowing us to offer complementary products alongside our dairy range.”
The base recipe for the range consists of a bespoke blend of oats and rice. It has been in development for over 12 months and has been specifically created to achieve the right balance across taste and texture.
The new range will build on Meadow Foods’ product portfolio that was strengthened last year by the acquisition of Nimbus Foods, one of Europe’s leading innovators and manufacturers of high quality inclusions, decorations and toppings for the food industry.
Meadow Foods currently employs more than 430 people and handles in excess of 550 million litres of milk each year direct from its network of dedicated milk producers across the UK.