August 26, 2021

Established meat alternative food manufacturer Quorn is stepping up its position in the meat-free chicken category with the opening of a new culinary development centre in Dallas, Texas. It follows investment into the US business by Philippines parent Monde Nissin Corp which generated $1 billion in an initial public offering in June.

“Our ambition is to become the king of alternative chicken globally,” commented Quorn’s CEO Marco Bertacca. “With new leadership, our state-of-the-art culinary centre and new innovations accelerated by this IPO, we believe we’re well-positioned to do that.”

The development centre will be able to test culinary equipment and the coating on mycoprotein – the super-protein in all Quorn products – in real time and real conditions. The space also features a product development lab to accelerate innovation to market for the North American business.

Quorn’s incentive: US market three times the size of UK

Quorn was a pioneer in the alternative meat space before it became fashionable, but it is now under pressure from multiple start-ups, for example Singapore’s Shandi, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, to name just a few.

Capturing the US is also vital as the meat substitutes business is valued at more than three times that of Quorn’s UK home market according to research analyst Euromonitor. Barclays also predicts that meat alternatives will grow from 1% of the meat business today to 10% or $140 billion by 2029 globally.

Quorn believes that its products “replicate the experience of eating meat with far less impact on the environment” which it hopes will be a key driver for consumers when they make their choices.

The creation of the development centre was led by the company’s new US president Judd Zusel and executive chef Stephen A. Kalil, an established leader in culinary research and innovation (pictured top). Zusel comes from the drinks industry and joined Quorn from Bacardi Global Brands where he served as vice president and general manager of The Incubation Brands business unit. He is an expert in creating and accelerating new launches to market.

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