Alpro has announced plans to invest €30m ($35m) to boost production at its facilities in Kettering, UK and Wevelgem, Belgium.
In the UK, where Alpro employs some 200 production staff, a sizeable portion of the investment will be used to develop a new high-speed packaging line to produce 75 million extra packs of soya, oat, rice and coconut drinks per year.
The plant-based food and beverage brand said the move reflected growing demand for plant-based products globally as it unveiled an ambitious five-year sustainability initiative to mark the company’s 40-year anniversary.
In its ‘Feeding the Future With Plants
’ plan, Alpro said it intended to increase the proportion of its recyclable packaging from 76% today to 100% in 2025. Other targets include a 60% reduction in the water footprint of its products, increasing the proportion of renewable energy used to 50% and reducing operational greenhouse gas emissions by 30% per kilo of product.
Alpro CEO Emmanuel Faber said the new investment and sustainable strategy demonstrated “the trend towards healthy and sustainable products is becoming unstoppable and the role food companies play in supporting flexitarian diets that are good for the planet and good for the health.”
Alpro’s announcement further underlines the growing importance of health-focused and environmentally friendly plant-based menus across the global coffee shop industry. World Coffee Portal’s Project Café UK 2020
report shows nearly one fifth of UK consumers surveyed frequently request a plant-based milk with their coffee shop beverage.
In the US, food-focused café market leader Panera Bread has pledged to increase the proportion of plant-based menu items from 25% to 50% by 2021.
In September 2020, the world’s largest coffee chain, Starbucks, announced
it would expand the availability of prominent plant-based brands, including Oatly
, Beyond Meat, and Impossible Foods, across its stores in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand and Taiwan.