Schouten Europe is the most innovative SME food company in the Netherlands
Schouten Europe has achieved second place in the prestigious Chamber of Commerce Innovation Top 100. The Brabant family business can therefore call itself the most innovative SME food company in the Netherlands. Schouten develops and produces meat and fish substitutes and achieved the top position with its vegetable tuna. First place went to Grown.bio, which developed a sustainable alternative to Styrofoam.
COC Innovation Top 100
Every year, the Chamber of Commerce (CoC) presents the KVK Innovation Top 100, a showcase full of successful innovations from small and medium-sized businesses. Over the past 15 years, this prize has become the largest and most important innovation prize for SMEs. The mission of the Chamber of Commerce is to stimulate the growth of SMEs. Innovation is therefore one of the most important pillars. Among other things, this pillar is expressed in the Innovation Top 100, which is determined by an expert jury.
After developing meat substitutes for 30 years, Schouten introduced its first fish substitute last year: vegetable tuna. This product received a lot of attention in both the national and international media.“Introducing our Vegan Green Tuna has been an overwhelming success. We are now selling the product to several B2B customers and are discussing collaboration with other parties”, says CEO Henk Schouten, the first Dutchman to start developing meat substitutes in 1990.
The number of fish substitutes is increasing worldwide. Henk Schouten: “We have always been a forerunner in the market for meat substitutes. We are now also a forerunner in the field of fish substitutes. We want to develop sustainable and tasty alternatives that reduce the pressure on the oceans”. In 2021 Schouten also introduced vegetable fish fingers in addition to tuna.
Photo: CEO Henk Schouten was the first Dutchman to start developing meat substitutes in 1990
A versatile product
The vegan tuna is based on soy and wheat and can be used in other products such as spreads, salads, wraps, and ready-to-eat meals. The product can even be used as a pizza topping.
Plant-based fish is one of the most promising categories within plant-based food. This is stated by ProVeg International based on the Smart Protein Report 2021, which is supported by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme of the EU. Research firm AC Nielsen found the strongest growth in the German market: between 2018 and 2020, the plant-based fish category grew by 623% to €1.9 million*.
*Total market including discounters, Germany, sales value in €, plant-based fish, MAT CW39 2018 vs 2020 – AC Nielsen Market Track.
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 comprehensive and varied ranges in the world and supplies its products in more than 50 countries. The company also develops many customer-specific products.