Jorg Oostdam Beyond Meat

Source: Beyond Meat

Jorg Oostdam will be tasked with driving the continuing expansion of the business in Europe and accelerating its strategic growth worldwide

US plant-based giant Beyond Meat has appointed ex-Mars executive Jorg Oostdam as its first general manager for Europe.

In the newly created role, Oostam will be tasked with driving the continuing expansion of the business in Europe and accelerating its strategic growth worldwide, Beyond Meat said.

The appointment follows the start of European production by Beyond Meat via new manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands last year. This allowed it to “increase the speed, scale and efficiency in which the company can produce and distribute its products across Europe”, it said.

2021 also saw Beyond Meat announce European offerings with Starbucks, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s as well as major retail expansions, including the introduction of new products such as Beyond Mince and Beyond Meatballs in select markets.

Beyond Meat saw sales in the mults grow by 106.8% to £11.6m this year, according to data from The Grocer’s Top Products report [NielsenIQ 52 w/e 11 September], which will publish today.

It said Oostdam’s recruitment was “another sign of Beyond Meat’s commitment to the region and investment in creating the infrastructure needed to support the company’s growing presence across Europe”. He will be based in the Netherlands and start with the company in February 2022.

Oostdam was described as “a leader in geographical expansion, portfolio extensions, and organisational development throughout his robust fmcg career”.

He most recently served as CEO for Dutch confectionery business Zed Candy, where he relaunched the brand and expanded the business into 14 new markets globally. Prior to that, Oostdam was VP and GM of EMEA for the Heartland Food Products Group, where he scaled the Splenda sweetener business and expanded the international sales and marketing teams.

A 15-year veteran of Mars, Oostdam held several leadership roles at the organisation including GM of both Switzerland and Spain, as well as marketing and sales positions in the Netherlands and Northern Europe.

“Jorg’s leadership and experience will be instrumental in providing our plant-based meats to European consumers, in building out our local production and innovation capabilities and in growing a robust local supply chain in service to our longer-term goal of price parity with animal protein,” said Beyond Meat founder and CEO Ethan Brown.

“Europe’s appetite for plant-based meat is on the rise, and there’s no better time to join the Beyond Meat team,” said Oostdam. “I’m excited to help set the vision and strategic direction for Beyond Meat’s long-term growth in Europe as we make plant-based meat more accessible to customers and consumers across the region.”