Planted Foods

The new way to enjoy meat

Following the trend toward low-meat and meat-free diets, Swiss company Planted Foods AG has rapidly gained a foothold in Germany, France, Italy, the UK and other European markets with its plant-based meat products.

People who are committed to animal welfare and want to reduce their carbon footprint prefer to eat meatless food. For many of us, this is easiest when we can choose a familiar dish where the meat is replaced by an equivalent plant-based food. Planted sells a range of ‘meat products’ that no longer contain animal flesh, such as chicken breast, pulled pork, chicken skewers and schnitzel. The products can be prepared like conventional meat and are very similar to meat in terms of taste and preparation. However, they produce up to 87 percent less climate-damaging CO2 than animal meat and require up to 90 percent less water.

Planted was established in 2019 by some young graduates from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, who had spent their time there researching various aspects of food technology. They used what they had learnt to develop a two-step extrusion and fermentation process to produce plant-based meat from yellow peas, rapeseed oil, water and vitamin B12 (produced by fermentation). Different types of ‘meat’ are created by supplementing the peas with other plant-based protein sources, such as oats or sunflower seeds.

Planted products contain no additives, hormones or antibiotics. Word of their benefits has spread: just four years after the company was set up, it had over 220 employees, and its products were available at over 6000 retail outlets. Not only was it the market leader in Switzerland, it was also represented in retail outlets in Germany (REWE), Italy (Esselunga) and the UK (Morrisons). In addition to retail, the products are distributed through the company’s online shop and food wholesalers. Planted dishes are also served in the on-board restaurants of Swiss Federal Railways and Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national rail service.

Planted has set its sights on rapid growth in the European markets and has already started planning production facilities outside Switzerland. This growth is made possible by the nine-figure sum that the start-up has raised in several rounds of financing. Of the many companies that are working towards occupying the new product category of plant-based meat today, Planted is right in the vanguard.