Netherlands-based fish processing company Kennemervis Groep has acquired the parent company of plant-based meat brand Vegafit.
Bobeldijk Food Group introduced its vegetarian and vegan meat range in 2008. The line features meatless fish fingers, meatballs, and schnitzel.
Remko Vogelenzang, director at Bobeldijk Food Group, told FoodBev: “We are very pleased with the transaction with Kennemervis Groep, which enables us to take advantage of the knowledge of sales markets within Kennemervis Groep.”
Vogelenzang added: “As part of Kennemervis Groep, we have the opportunity to significantly accelerate our ambition for international growth.”
The Netherlands Embrace Veganism
Bobeldijk Food Group started out as a butchery business. Prior to 2015, the 45-year-old brand was called the Bobeldijk Meat Company.
The growing demand for plant-based products led the company to shift its focus to meat-free foods. In a statement on its website, the brand explained the switch was made because more people in the Netherlands are embracing flexitarian diets.
Last year, new data from market research company IRI Nederland revealed the number of plant-based meat products in Dutch grocery stores had increased by 51 percent since 2017.
During the same period, sales of pork, game meat, and beef decreased by nine percent. And although chicken sales increased by two percent during this period, the data showed they ultimately fell 0.4 percent in the first half of 2019.
Dutch Meat Companies Go Vegan
Kennemervis Groep isn’t the only meat-centric company to embrace meatless food. As consumer habits shift toward flexitarianism and plant-based eating, the meat industry has also been forced to adapt.
In 2018, Dutch brand Vivera launched the first commercially available vegan steak. The following year, Vivera Foodgroup—its parent company—sold its frozen and chilled meat brand Enkco, making it one of the first meat companies in the world to ditch meat in favor of meat-free foods.
Last year, Netherlands-based meat processing company Bolscher revealed selling just meat food items wasn’t viable in the longterm. It announced it would be launching its own plant-based meat brand in order to keep up with the changing trends.
The company’s owner, Roy Bolscher, told NOS: “I would prefer to continue for ten years with only traditional meat, but I don’t see a future in meat alone.”
“Continuing on the same footing is no longer an option. Food does not always have to be an animal, we know now,” he added.