Enkco Holding, creator of Tesco’s groundbreaking vegan steak, announced that it has sold its meat product business and is repositioning itself as Vivera Food Group, a totally vegan meat company. Why? According to the company, it is because “the future is plant-based.”
Before the switch, Enkco Holding consisted of two standalone businesses: Vivera, which produced plant-based meat, and Enkco, which focused on chilled and frozen animal meats. Vivera has been developing vegan and vegetarian meat replacements since 1990 and boasts more than 40 different high-quality vegan products already available in 23 European countries and about 25,000 supermarkets.
Last year, U.K.-based supermarket chain Tesco announced that it would begin selling Vivera’s vegan steak. Within just one week, the plant-based steak nearly sold out at 40,000 units. Gert Jan Gobert, a spokesperson for Vivera, explained:
The smell, taste and bite can hardly be distinguished from real steak and we are convinced that this product will meet a large need of consumers. It is very important that we eat less meat, both for our own health, animal welfare and for our planet. Innovative and high-quality plant-based products can make a significant contribution here.
After the success of its initial launch, Vivera went on to roll out its famous vegan steak at European retailers Albert Heijn, JUMBO Supermarkten, and Carrefour. More recently, Enkco Holding reported that 25 percent of its group sales came from animal meat, while a whopping 65 percent came from plant-based products.
The now fully plant-based company Vivera Food Group is the third-largest plant protein manufacturer in the world. In a statement, the company’s chief executive stressed that Vivera is one of the first global meat companies to ditch animal meat and focus on plant-based protein:
For ourselves, this is a great opportunity to fully focus our energy, resources, and competences on this rapidly growing market. This will enable us to keep leadership in this important market and proudly be an important leading player in the protein conversation so important and impactful for sustainability.
This is not just great news for the environment and human health; more plant-based options mean more animals spared a lifetime of suffering at factory farms. While many European countries have some of the world’s strictest animal welfare laws, undercover investigations by numerous groups prove that animal cruelty still runs rampant at farms in Europe.