LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwired - Jan. 14, 2014) - Quorn Foods, the global market leader in meat-alternative foods, experienced its fastest ever growth in 2013, attracting more than 10.2 million consumers than the previous year. Quorn's UK business reported a 13 per cent growth in total sales last year, and a 20% increase in like-for-like sales in the final quarter of the year representing sustained sales momentum throughout the year.
The company's stellar performance contrasts starkly with the latest figures showing how the British meat industry continues to face challenges. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has revealed that British red meat (beef and lamb) sales fell in 2013, with 9,327 fewer tonnes of British red meat sold compared with the previous year.
A new poll conducted by YouGov at the end of December 2013 suggests that this shift is a legacy of the horsemeat scandal in January 2013, with 21% of those surveyed* saying that they eat less meat now than they did a year ago.
Quorn Foods has had a sustained increase in sales since the horsemeat scandal broke:
- In February 2013, Quorn recorded a 17.9% increase in like-for-like sales compared to the previous year
- Growth continued over the summer; in June 2013, Quorn's UK sales were up 22.4% on June 2012
- Final quarter of 2013 was Quorn's strongest ever, with the company recording a 20% increase in like-for-like sales on the previous year
- Quorn also saw double digit growth in Australia and Sweden as the international business progressed
Kevin Brennan, chief executive of Quorn Foods, commented: "At a time when most of the food industry is seeing very little growth, we saw our sales soar in 2013, with double-digit growth sustained throughout the year.
"This puts Quorn in a great place for 2014, and I'm confident we will achieve double-digit growth again this year as we continue to invest in improving our current products and developing new ones."
Brennan added: "We are clearly seeing consumers rethink their meat eating. 500 meals a year with meat is too much for our health and the planet."
A new YouGov poll has found that the meat industry has much to do before it wins back the trust of consumers, with six out of ten people in the UK (61%) stating that they believe the risk of contamination in the meat industry still exists. Almost half of those surveyed (48%) were more concerned about what is in processed meat products now compared to before the 2013 reports of horsemeat contamination.
Since becoming a private company, Quorn has made a number of strategic investments across the business to drive growth, including £15m in global marketing for 2014. This will spanTV advertising, PR, digital and promotional development and celebrity endorsements, with Mo Farah recently signed to lead a new marketing push for the brand.
*YouGov surveyed 1854 adults across the UK
About Quorn Foods
Quorn Foods is a global market leader in meat alternative foods. Headquartered in Stokesley, North Yorkshire, the company offers a wide range of meat-alternative ingredient and ready meal options as a solution to both vegetarians and the rapidly expanding group of people wanting to reduce their meat consumption. The company employs around 600 people and exports to 13 countries around the world, including Australia and the USA. Quorn is the UK's 35th biggest food brand, bigger than Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Doritos and Innocent.