Meat-free firm Quorn increases innovation spend as sales jump 12pc
Food giant Quorn is pumping a further £7m (€7.8m) into a new product development centre in a move that will create hundreds of jobs at its North Yorkshire site following a 12pc jump in half-year sales.
The company said it logged £112m in like-for-like sales in the first six months of the year, up from around £100m during the same period in 2017.
It has now announced a further £7m investment in its new "Global Innovation Centre", which will break ground this summer and be based at its headquarters in Stokesley, North Yorkshire.
The site will help bolster its capabilities in fermenting proteins like soy - which are core to its products - and aid in product development.
Quorn said it will help create "hundreds of jobs" in the region over the next five years.
Quorn has been capitalising on a growing appetite for meat-free products amid the growing popularity of vegan, vegetarian and so-called flexitarian diets, with the sector growing between 10-20pc year on year.
Chief executive Kevin Brennan said: "We hope to demonstrate that there are great British businesses in the north that can win on a global stage.
"We are already seeing amazing growth internationally: Australian sales are up 50pc and US sales are up 23pc. In the US supermarket giant Kroger, we now have the fastest selling product in the category.
"With continued investment we believe we can continue this level of performance."
Mr Brennan says the company is on track to become a "billion dollar business" by 2027.
We are seeing lots of Silicon Valley investment and hype in this space but we have already built up 30 years of expertise in the meat-free category.
"With our renewed investment in R&D (research and development) we expect to lead the way for decades to come."