Beneo buys stake in Grillido, marking its “next step in protein strategy”

20 Jan 2023 — Beneo is taking a 14% stake in German start-up business Grillido to “get to know consumer preferences for plant-based meat solutions even better.” According to the ingredient supplier, the investment is part of Beneo’s strategy to bolster its capabilities in protein.

Brands are becoming more innovative in producing meat and dairy alternatives with plant-based claims. Consumers can choose from a wider variety of plant-based options that use innovation to replicate common meat and dairy products accurately. This investment will give Beneo direct access to consumer needs, allowing it to improve its plant-based protein solutions for meat alternatives continuously. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Dominic Speleers, a member of the executive board at Beneo, says the move to investing in plant-based “is the right one.” 

“Today, young people, in particular, are users of meat replacement, and these groups are expected to retain their ‘flexitarian’ habits as they age. While the plant-based market in Europe is slowing down, it is still expected to grow by 14% CAGR between 2022 and 2027, so the decision has been taken based on a long- and mid-term perspective.”

Spotlight on German plant-based consumers 
A survey on behalf of Beneo shows that while one in four consumers identify as flexitarians across Europe, it is already one in three in Germany.

Grillido is a company focused on developing, producing, marketing, and distributing meat replacement and alternative meat products.Speleers cites a report from the EU’s Smart Protein project that shows that the German plant-based meat sector is one of the largest and fastest-growing among the 11 European countries analyzed. “Therefore, we are confident that learning more about consumers’ plant-based needs in Germany can serve as a valuable basis to understand plant-based consumers and their shopping preferences across Europe.”

Beneo’s global survey also showed that some motivations vary across countries – for example, German consumers attach a lot of importance to animal welfare, whereas, in Spain, most plant-based consumers reach for meat and fish alternatives for health-related reasons.

“However, when it comes to the purchase decision, taste is always king. So, a pleasant taste and texture are top priorities among all surveyed European countries when it comes to making a purchase decision,” Speelers underscores.

BBQ and beyond
Located in Munich, Germany, Grillido is a company focused on developing, producing, marketing, and distributing meat replacement and alternative meat products, as well as other products linked to BBQ foods. 

Its e-commerce platform enables Grillido to receive consumer insights from multi-channel sales. Beneo will have faster and direct access to consumer feedback to gain valuable information about their plant-based preferences and needs. 

By tapping into Grillido’s consumer understanding and culinary knowledge, Beneo will be able to move more quickly with developing its existing product solutions for the plant-based market, as well as new products and innovations. 

“Moving closer to the consumer and having faster and direct feedback from the market on our solutions and products is a crucial advantage for Beneo as a B2B company. This way, we can further improve our solutions for the plant-based meat alternative market and make an important step forward in our plant-based protein roadmap,” adds Speleers.

Grillido has around 30 employees. Next to e-commerce, its multi-channel sales approach also covers retail and foodservice sales. 

By Elizabeth Green

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