Brazilian meat producer and the world’s biggest animal protein company, JBS, sees a bright future in plant-based meat, agreeing to acquire Dutch plant-based meat producer Vivera for €341 million.

Vivera is currently the third-largest manufacturer of plant-based food products in Europe and produces a range of over 50 plant-based meat products such as burgers, chicken alternatives and mince alternatives. Vivera products are stocked in supermarkets in 25 countries across Europe including The Netherlands, the UK and Germany. The acquisition includes Vivera’s three plant-based manufacturing sites and a research and development centre located in The Netherlands.

The plant-based food category is estimated to grow exponentially in the near future due to an increase in flexitarian and other plant-centric eating habits leading to increasing consumer demand for products such as plant-based meat alternatives.

JBS has previously demonstrated its interest in capitalising on the trend, already releasing a number of plant-based meat products through subsidiary companies, such as Seara’s Incrível range in Brazil and Planterra’s Ozo brand in the US.

JBS has hinted that it wishes to continue growing its presence in the plant-based meat category. “This acquisition is an important step to strengthen our global plant-based protein platform” said Gilberto Tomazoni, Global CEO of JBS. “Vivera will give JBS a stronghold in the plant-based sector, with technological knowledge and capacity for innovation”.

Despite the acquisition, in order to foster the entrepreneurial spirit at Vivera, JBS has said that it plans to manage the company as a standalone business unit, with its current leadership team to remain in place. Willem van Weede, CEO of Vivera explained that “joining forces with JBS gives us access to significant resources and capabilities to accelerate our current strong growth trajectory and Vivera brand expansion.

READ MORE: JBS to acquire plant-based meat producer Vivera for €341m [Food Bev Media]