Page 29 - Food&Drink July 2019
P. 29

Flavour game changer
The Alternative Meat Co has entered the plant-based protein space with gusto. Doris Prodanovic talks with GM Dean Epps about its growth and plans.
WHEN Life Health Foods launched its entirely plant- based The Alternative Meat Co products into Coles, production shifted to a 24-hour cycle to meet demand. Just north of Sydney on the Central Coast, LHF is manufacturing its burger patties, sausages and mince because plant-based protein “is not just a fad – it’s
a game changer”.
So says Life Health Foods
general manager Dean Epps. He told Food & Drink Business that health benefits, animal welfare and environmental impacts are driving more consumers to plant-based options.
“When we started the business, we looked at all the data around plant-based products and saw it as a game changer for the world. Most people saw it as a fad at first but these three reasons aren’t going away, they’re sticking around,” Epps says.
LHF started in 2015 following the acquisition of the Vegie Delights brand from Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing.
“The business has expanded rapidly over the past five years. The Alternative Meat Co was the latest brand we launched and is all about having a local plant-based protein that is an
equivalent experience to meat,” he says.
Its range went into 700 Coles stores around Australia in May, as well as teaming up with Sydney burger joint Huxtaburger for International Burger Day. Epps says the aligned forecast for success has doubled in reality and believes it is important to create a product range that makes it easy for consumers to switch habits.
“Our products have a four out of five health star rating, which is hard to find in the meat category, but what we want to crack is this idea of ‘I want to improve my health and environmental impact by finding protein from other sources, but don’t want to need a lot of willpower to switch’,” Epps says.
“We have the nutritional benefits but we want it to be a zero willpower to switch to these alternatives. We want consumers feeling better about choosing the product, while also knowing it tastes great and gives the cooker the same sizzle you get when you cook a burger or sausage.”
The Alternative Meat Co plans to expand its product portfolio, as well as increasing collaborations with more burger chains around the country. ✷ | July 2019 | Food&Drink business | 29 Food
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