AMSTERDAM – It started as a visionary movement and now Quorn has become an indispensable part of the meat substitute. The food producer is using its marketing budget this year largely to make meat substitution a habit in the Netherlands. Marco Bertacca, CEO of Quorn, says that our country is particularly suitable for making this change.
“Everything is there in your country: the people want it and the products are there. So we pull out all the stops for a whole year to lower that threshold, to simply replace your meat more often. We are moving even more towards facilitating ”, Bertacca responds. Quorn’s goal is clear: to help the Dutch change their meat lifestyle and incorporate the unique elements of the products into it. Quorn’s products are very different from many other meat substitute brands, he says; the protein base comes from a natural fungus, which gives them an even lower eco-footprint, for example.
Bertacca does not like to speak of a meat substitute. “It puts meat on a pedestal too much. But the truth dictates that we are still at a point in the social debate where many people still experience it that way: do I eat meat today or do I use a substitute in my recipe? ”, Says the CEO. The choice to focus on the Netherlands this year is because the company sees significant growth in the category in all European countries and more and more new buyers are joining.
In the Netherlands, the level of knowledge about meat and a healthy planet and the will to change are high. In particular, the number of ‘aspiring meat miners’ is increasing. Quorn is referring to consumers who used to eat mainly meat, but now see the benefits of switching to some of their eating habits meat-free. « The Dutch are a good example of this, which is why we focus on your country to enable change. »
The reasons for eating less meat for a day are now known to most of the Dutch: eating less animal protein is healthier and better for the well-being of everything that lives on the planet, according to Quorn. “That ‘one day’ would already be a fantastic step for many, of which we as Quorn say: many small steps have a big impact. And experience shows that for many such a first day is the stepping stone to a truly new meat lifestyle, more intensive than just that one day, ”says Bertacca.
Quorn is therefore introducing Meat Free Friday. The idea is to not eat meat on a fixed day a week and replace it with something else tasty, such as a vegan nugget instead of a bitterbal, vegetarian mince because of the lasagna, or a spicy wrap with the texture and taste you want. are used to. Friday was chosen because it is the day when, after a busy week, people are open to themselves, to what they consider important and to their environment. “We will of course see if we can get entrepreneurs along to make Meat Free Friday an iconic habit in the Netherlands. The day when you simply replace meat. We want to constantly remind consumers of the benefits of meat-free, even if only for one day a week. Therefore, we will communicate the campaign through many different contact points, including an element of retailer support, ”explains Bertacca.
This year, Quorn will focus on replacing meat on Fridays and hopes that both well-known and unknown Dutch people will film and share their ‘bite for a better planet’ on social media. Quorn encourages consumers by giving away complete festive meal packs for the best movies. Furthermore, there is a new recipe every Friday and people are encouraged with ‘Quornversation starters’ to engage in certain topics of conversation about more sustainable eating while eating. “As part of my agenda, I dream of a large set table without meat in the Binnenhof or the Malieveld”, the CEO fantasizes. “As a sustainable movement, we would also like to have the thresholds lowered further in The Hague for less meat consumption. It is on the agenda there, but it can be put on the agenda much more tangibly and tastefully, less as a problem, but rather as a wonderful solution for all of us. But if that will work, please ask me again in a few months ”, Bertacca says with a laugh.
With every bite you help the planet
This year, Quorn as a company launched a new global communications platform called « With every bite you help the planet. » The campaign started in January in the United Kingdom and will be extended to the Netherlands and Sweden from this month. “In this way we really show that the choices we make as a consumer can have a major impact on ourselves and the world around us. Meat Free Friday is a great way for us to let both household names and the general public know that switching to Quorn is a healthy choice for our consumers and for the planet as a whole, ”said Bertacca.
This article previously appeared in the paper edition of Food newspaper. Subscribe? Click here.