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Heura launched two fish alternatives to coincide with Veganuary this year, with hopes for a UK launch later this year

Revenues at Heura have soared almost 80% higher as the European plant-based brand ramped up distribution outside its native Spain, including a sixfold increase in the UK.

In 2020 just 6% of sales occurred outside of Spain, while this number hit 12% in 2021 and 23% in 2022.

Heura launched two fish alternatives in Spain to coincide with Veganuary this year, which followed new listings in the UK with Waitrose for Mediterranean Chick’n Pieces, Chorizo Burger and Spanish Chorizo Sausage in December. The business plans to launch the fish SKUs in the UK later this year. 

It helped the Barcelona-headquartered group grow turnover to €31.4m (£27.8m) in 2022, up from €17.7m (£15.7m) in the previous year.

“The last year was a pivotal one for Heura, as we grew from being the leader of the plant-based movement in Spain, to elevating our impact outside of our home country by more than 260%,” said CEO and co-founder Marc Coloma.

“Accounting for nearly 40% of sales, our newest food innovations, like plant-based chorizo, sausage and breaded chicken have been heavily embraced across Europe, proving the impact of our focus on creating consumer centric foods that help people renew their favourite culinary traditions.”

Coloma started the business with Bernat Añaños in 2017.

Last year, Heura raised €20m (£17.4m) – which included more than €4m from a crowdfunding ‘Equity for Good Rebels’ campaign – to continue its rapid growth across Europe.

“Each step forward for Heura in 2023 is designed to lead a net-positive food system by 2028,” Coloma added.

“We are working to democratise delicious nutrient-dense foods that have a positive climate impact for people across Europe. Our experienced R&D team and world-leading academic and expert partners are creating proprietary technologies that will change the face of the plant-based food industry and unlock the true potential of the movement.”

The majority of UK sales in 2022 were generated through the foodservice channel where Heura supplies the like of Ready Burger, Neat Burger, Tossed, Purezza, Patty & Bun and Dishoom.

However, the group said accelerated growth plans for 2023 were already underway, with retail set to generate a much greater proportion of overall sales thanks to new listings in Waitrose.

The brand now has more than 600 points of sale in the retail channel, including Waitrose, Planet Organic, CN Foods and Simply Fresh.

It also has an online presence through Ocado and on-demand services such as Gorillas.

Additionally, the brand also work with meal kit group Mindful Chef and vegan ready meal specialists Grubby and Planty.