Pea protein giant in €40M plant spend

Plant protein demand is forecast to double in just eight years

A plant-based ingredients maker is to meet growing global demand for pea protein by ploughing €40M (£35M) into increasing its production capacity in France.

Roquette’s investment into its operation at Vic-sur-Aisne follows its announcement earlier this year that it is to open the world’s largest pea protein plant in Manitoba, Canada, in 2019, at a cost of 400M Canadian dollars (£250M).

Both developments add to the €40M (£35M) spend into the Vic-sur-Aisne plant, which is 60 miles north-west of Paris, in 2015.

Combined capacity of nearly 25,000t

By 2019, the two facilities will have a combined pea processing capacity of nearly 250,000t a year.

Demand for plant proteins for human nutrition is strongly increasing, driven by health consciousness, new consumer habits and sustainability challenges, Roquette claimed.

Pea protein offers many advantages to farmers, customers and consumers, as its production is environmentally friendly, and works well in gluten-free foods, vegetarian foods, sports and slimming foods, clinical nutrition and mainstream food, it added.

‘A large and growing demand’

“By increasing our processing capacity in the pea protein segment, we address a large and growing demand for plant-based nutrition solutions and we reinforce our leadership on this segment,” said Roquette chief executive Jean-Marc Gilson.

The global demand for alternative proteins was forecast to double in just eight years, with soybean, pea and oat likely to lead the way, according to a report published at the end of last year.

The market for alternative proteins – those beyond fish and meat – will grow 14% annually to reach 37.8Mt by 2024, the Lux Research report said.

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