This month, the Giessen-based family business Schouten Europe is introducing the ‘Crispy Chickenless Dipper’. Schouten is responding to the growing demand for plant-based snacks with this completely plant-based product. All over the world, reducing meat consumption is seen as one of the most important pillars in combating climate change.
The Crispy Chickenless Dipper is ideally suited as a pub food. Schouten’s product manager Annemiek Vervoort is well aware of this: ‘Fortunately, patrons are returning to hotels, restaurants, and cafes as COVID restrictions are lifted. Awareness of the importance of healthier and more sustainable snacks has grown enormously among both suppliers and consumers. Nevertheless, it is still important that we enjoy our food. We now offer a product that meets all these criteria’.
The product’s homestyle coating is distinctive and unique. ‘This homestyle coating results in a crispy bite. This, in combination with the tender texture of the plant-based chicken and the slightly spicy seasoning, makes for a very tasty product’, says Vervoort. The Schouten Crispy Chickenless Dipper is made from wheat, soy, and pea proteins and weighs 35 grams.
Plant-based snacking on the rise
Kees van den Heuvel, Trade Marketer at Schouten, notes that meat substitutes are no longer only eaten with a hot meal. ‘In recent years, we have seen that consumers are increasingly consuming protein-rich snacks. The growing number of plant-based offerings in the out-of-home sector has helped contribute to this shift’. Research agency Markteffect states that, in the Netherlands, 27% of those who regularly consume meat substitutes (54% of the Dutch population) sometimes eat vegetarian or plant-based snacks and that this percentage is increasing every year.
Chicken substitutes constitute largest segment
According to research firm Markets and Markets, the chicken substitute product segment is by far the largest product group in the meat substitute market worldwide. The market research firm expects chicken substitutes to generate revenues in excess of USD 13 billion by 2025.
Also available in the supermarket
Schouten is currently introducing the product worldwide to its customers in the retail, out-of-home, and food industry sectors. In the Netherlands, the product is already available at the supermarket chains Dirk and Deka. The product will also be available soon at one of the largest Dutch supermarket chains. The product can be eaten as a snack, but also with a hot meal, with a salad, in a wrap, or on a sandwich.
The first Dutch company
Schouten started in 1990 as the first Dutch company to develop meat alternatives with plant-based proteins. The company markets one of the most extensive and varied ranges in the world and supplies its products, primarily under their private label, in more than 50 countries. Schouten also develops many products according to customer demands.