Quality instead of speed pays off
This is the conclusion reached by Maximilian Tönnies, son of CEO Clemens Tönnies. The company wants to convince with products that taste. Many taste tests within the company and consumer panels show: In the area of product development of vegetarian or vegan variants, the meat producer from Rheda-Wiedenbrück has made a big leap in a short time. And the company now wants to build on that. Acceptance by end consumers is followed by establishment in the veggie sector. This also seems to be bearing fruit – after six months, Tönnies has already recorded an increase in sales of more than 250 percent. While this figure was around €8.3 million in 2019, it is expected to total €30 million this year.
Taste and sensory are important points
Especially for flexitarians, those who want to give up meat only once in a while. They have high expectations: Ideally, the product should taste and feel like a meat meal when chewed. The new “Wie” series has done just that, says Tönnies. “The chicken nuggets, chicken cutlets or fish sticks taste like the real thing.”
The company worked on the meat substitute for around two years before the articles were launched on the market.
“Like” products about to be launched
All that was missing was the finishing touches, according to Maximilian Tönnies. However, there are already broad listing commitments. Food retailers (LEH) were particularly impressed by the taste of the plant-based alternatives. The marketing offensive, which also includes TV commercials, started back in September.
Where do the items in the “How” series come from anyway?
“Like chicken nuggets”, “Like meatballs”, “Like fish sticks” and Co. are produced in our own factory in Böklund. Now the capacities there are to be further developed and expanded. According to Tönnies, this involves an amount in the double-digit millions. The business plan provides: To drive the expansion of the veggie range and the further optimization of the products, sales of around 24 million euros are to be generated in the sausage substitute segment by the end of 2021. In the Meat Substitutes division, the figure is expected to be around €6 million. By 2025, the total sales of both divisions are expected to rise to over 120 million euros.
Food as sustainable as possible
That is the goal of the Tönnies Group. Processing European soy instead of rainforest soy is part of the so-called t30 sustainability strategy of the slaughterhouse, which now sees itself as a food producer. This is underlined by the company’s activities in the convenience sector. In the future, cheese products, sauces, snacks and other barbecue items will also be produced.
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