Sales of vegan alternatives are booming — and consumer goods giant Unilever is hoping to cash in.
The company, which owns brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and Hellmann’s, announced Wednesday that it wants to reach 1 billion euros ($1.19 billion) in annual global sales of plant-based meat and dairy alternatives by 2027.
This is roughly five times what Unilever expects to earn from plant-based substitutes this year, it said.
The Dutch-English company aims to meet this target by rolling out its plant-based meat brand The Vegetarian Butcher alongside increasing vegan alternatives from other brands across its portfolio including Hellmann’s, Magnum, and Wall’s, it said.
The strategy was first revealed by Jostein Solheim, Unilever’s executive vice president of foods and refreshment for North America, in an interview on Tuesday.
Unilever set the target to encourage people to make healthier food choices and to reduce the environmental impact of the global food chain, it said Wednesday.
By 2025, Unilever also aims to halve food waste in its direct global operations, double the number of products high in vegetables, fruits, proteins, or micronutrients, and reduce the sugar and calories in its ice-cream, it said.
Its target is for 95% of packaged ice cream to contain less than 22g of total sugar and less than 250 calories per serving by 2025.
The global plant-based market could reach $140 billion by 2029, according to research by Barclays.
Unilever has ramped up its plant-based offerings in recent years, offering vegan versions of Magnum ice creams, Hellman’s mayonnaise, and Ben & Jerry’s.
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