Quorn lists IPO, expands its distribution in the US

16 Jun 2021

Filipino owned and U.K.-based Quorn is looking for rapid growth through a publicly-funded U.S. expansion. Earlier this month, the plant-based meat analog company, which is owned by Monde Nissin, said it is targeting the U.S. as its next market in order to boost sales, Reuters reported.

In addition to targeting the largest consumer market for plant-based products globally, Monde Nissin also had its $1 billion initial public offering on the Philippine Stock Exchange. Bloomberg reported that proceeds earned from this IPO will go toward expanding the brand's presence in the United States.

Quorn lists IPO, expands its distribution in the US
Courtesy of Quorn

Quorn has been around since the 1980s and is one of the pioneers of the plant-based movement. However, although it is a staple product, it is not one that has gained traction in the U.S. market in the same way that newcomers like Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods have. But Quorn is not looking to compete directly with these titans. Unlike these industry giants that focus on beef analogs, Quorn will pursue faux chicken options, a wise move in the U.S. as chicken is the most widely consumed protein.

Instead of simply going straight to retail when it makes its bid for the U.S. market and “to become the king of alternative chicken globally,” Quorn Chief Executive Officer Marco Bertacca told Bloomberg that Quorn will pursue a foodservice first strategy. Already the company has partnered with KFC in the U.K. to create a faux chicken burger, which the company said was enormously popular. Now, they are looking to replicate this success Stateside through partnerships with fast-food chains. The company will spend nearly 16 billion pesos ($335 million) to expand its presence in the country.

It is important for Quorn to make a successful bid for the U.S. market as plant-based products continue to experience enormous demand in the country. Over the course of 2020, plant-based food retail sales grew 27% and were worth $7 billion, according to SPINS data released by the Good Food Institute and the Plant Based Foods Association (PBFA). While that growth is impressive, refrigerated plant-based meat sales reached even more staggering heights, growing 75% in 2020. Quorn is looking to take advantage of this double-digit growth since its primary markets are currently in the U.K. and Europe, according to Bloomberg.

While Monde Nissin is eager to make the presence of Quorn better known in the U.S., it has struggled at various points since it acquired the plant-based brand in 2015. From 2017 to 2020, the compound annual growth rate of Monde’s alternative-meat sales grew a mere 5% even as other companies were logging triple-digit growth numbers.

Nevertheless, the brand remains important to the company portfolio. Last year, Quorn was responsible for 22% of Monde's net sales of $1.4 billion, Reuters reported.

Monde plans to take advantage of the well-known brand name to boost its bottom line and carve out a slice of the booming plant-based market for itself. Bloomberg reported Barclays Plc numbers that showed the global alternative-meat market increasing tenfold to account for 10% of the entire meat industry or more than $140 billion by 2029.

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