Jos Hugense was ahead of his time when he started in 2005 the company Meatless. With the ingredient that is also called Meatless meat companies can enhance their products with plant based ingredients.
Meatless is developing and producing textured products based on grains and legumes for the food processing industry worldwide. Meatless helps meat companies creating a leaner product with a better taste. Hence they can make hybrid products with a lower footprint. Thanks to a lot of research it is possible to create meat products with up to 80% plant material.
However, Meatless not only supplies ingredients for meat products, but also delivers solutions for the production of better tasting fish, vegetarian and vegan products. Nowadays half of the production is for hybrid products and the other half for vegetarian or vegan products.
Meatless is clean label. It can be declared as rice flower, wheat flower and fava bean flower. All Meatless products are GMO free and vegan.
In a production line, the Meatless fibres can be added automatically to the products. There is a hamburger production line of 5,500 kilograms per hour, where 1,500 kilograms of Meatless fibres are included.
According to Hugense, CEO of Meatless, the demand for vegetable proteins grew only slowly in the early days. In 2006 Meatless had a production capacity of 1,500 ton per year, ten years later it was extended to 5,000 tons per year. In this period there was an average annual growth of 20%. “If you look at the demand for vegetable proteins, the market is accelerating,” Hugense says. “We see that young people are moving more towards plant material.”
Hugense thinks hybrid products can play an important role in the protein transition. “You can mix meat and vegetarian which might be a good idea, because it is a smaller step for people to go to a partly plant material based product than to a vegetarian product.” He argues that if you would add 20% or 25% plant material to processed meat, it would have a large impact.
The mission of Meatless is ‘Making our customer loved by their customers’. The company only has business-to-business activities. Meatless has a production facility in the Netherlands and has 23 employees. Hugense was one of the inspiring speakers at the 2018 Foodvalley Summit Proteins of the Future.
’30 to 40 serious business leads’
Meatless, a Foodvalley Member, presented their products on the Foodvalley booth on Health ingredients Europe in Frankfurt in November 2018. “It was a very good trade show”, says Jos Hugense. “The Hi is not so big, so the visitors could pay attention to all the booths they are interested in.” Joining the Foodvalley booth resulted Meatless in 30 to 40 “very serious business leads”.
In 2019 Foodvalley NL also offers companies active in the Foodvalley ecoystem the opportunity to highlight their innovations at the Foodvalley booth during the Food ingredients Europe, 3rd to 5th of December in Paris.