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The meat-free giant said the move would help reduce overall meat consumption

Quorn Foods’ mycoprotein ingredient will soon be available blended with meat across a host of foodservice operators and within the NHS, the supplier has revealed.

Part of the brand’s evolution from a company that seeks to “help a few people eat no meat” to one that “helps everyone eat less meat”, Quorn’s key ingredient will be blended with meat to make staple products such as burgers and sausages – replacing the 100% meat versions on menus.

The project, which includes some of Quorn’s key partners in healthcare and foodservice, is expected to lead to blended products on menus before the end of the year.

The Quorn brand name will not be used on packaging or menus, however, with reference instead made to the use of mycoprotein. Quorn stressed its involvement ended at supplying mycoprotein to its customers, who would then independently develop blended products.

Quorn Foods CEO Marco Bertacca told The Grocer the move represented an “evolution” of its existing business Marlow Ingredients, which launched last year in a bid to offer mycoprotein as an ingredient to alt meat and alt dairy manufacturers.

It also met the need to better cater for flexitarians, he added, while blended products in tandem with meat-free products would accelerate the overall decline in meat consumption required to combat climate change.

“Once upon a time we were effectively competing with the meat industry – only making products that were alternatives to theirs, and encouraging people to switch,” Bertacca said.

While it would still offer these products, Quorn also now found itself collaborating with its customers to offer “less-meat options” to consumers who were looking to reduce meat consumption, but not necessarily eat vegetarian or vegan meals, he added.

“This represents the majority of people, and so it is a massive opportunity to decarbonise part of the food system and improve public health,” Bertacca insisted.

“There have been attempts in the past to make products like burgers and sausages with a blend of meat and plant-based ingredients like soya and pea protein, but the products have not delivered for consumers,” he added.

“The meat producers we are working with now tell us that Quorn is by far the best meat alternative to blend with meat because of our unique mycoprotein and its very meat-like texture.”

Quorn’s move follows a well-documented decline in sales for meat-free products over the past 18 months. Data for The Grocer’s Top Products survey shows total sales in the category fell by 6.5% last year to £497.8m [NIQ 52 w/e 9 September 2023].

Quorn’s sales were largely flat, rising by just 0.2% to £155.8m, while volumes fell by 8.1% against the backdrop of a 9.03% average increase in price.