HomePartnerships30 years of plant-based experience

Henk Schouten: Pioneer and innovator since 1990

Schouten: at home in plant-based food for over 30 years

In the beginning, Henk Schouten started developing products based on plant-based proteins. Now, more than 30 years later, Schouten is a major multinational company supplying plant-based products to more than 50 countries – in the retail, out-of-home and food industries. We continue to inspire customers every day with our plant-based knowledge and experience. We are proud to share our rich history and our vision of the future with you.

Schouten makes history:

1980s > the first steps by visionary Henk Schouten

1990s and 2000s > modest growth

Klimaattop 2015 Parijs

2010s > meat substitutes gain ground

Today > focus on innovation

Schouten: Specialist in the development of vegan and plant-based products: Henk in the 1980s in his bus with built-in computer

1980s > the first steps by visionary Henk Schouten

At the end of the 1980s, visionary Henk Schouten was already looking into meat substitutes made from plant-based proteins. As an importer of cattle feeders and an experienced expert in cattle feed conversion, he had already been pondering for some time whether it would be more efficient to eliminate the cow as an intermediary between plants and humans.

With tofu as the only real plant-based alternative in the supermarket at that time, Henk Schouten recognised a real commercial opportunity. At the same time, he hoped to contribute to a better world for people, animals and the environment.

1990s and 2000s > modest growth

In 1990, Henk took an important step: he founded Schouten Europe. He got his first products onto grocery shelves with the brand GoodBite, which was available at C1000 stores. He also entered a licensing agreement with producer Vivera: Schouten provided the knowledge and Vivera took care of production.
“Within one year, meat substitutes will account for 10% of the meat market,” Henk once predicted to a friend, but the market grew slowly. Nevertheless, he stuck to his vision and remained committed to the transition from animal to plant-based protein.

Schouten: Specialist in the development of vegan and plant-based products: packagings of plant-based producten at C10000
Schouten: Specialist in the development of vegan and plant-based products: logo: 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference

2010s > meat substitutes gain ground  

Following the 2015 climate conference in Paris, the category of meat substitutes took off. More people recognised the need for reduced meat consumption and a more sustainable diet. The number of suppliers also increased. Schouten Europe grew as well. At the start of the 2020s, the total market for meat substitutes already accounts for 4% of total meat sales.

Today > focus on innovation

Today, Schouten focuses on innovation. Based on their strong interest in and passion for new ingredients and technologies, our dedicated development team creates exciting and delicious plant-based products.

For production, Schouten always works together with a broad network of specialised partners (co-manufacturers). They produce our premium quality products according to the highest standards.

Schouten: Specialist in the development of vegan and plant-based products: logo: 30 years of plant-based experiences
Rhode Meijers Schouten

Get to know our customization options

Curious how you can benefit from our advantage in plant-based? Feel free to contact us for an enlightening conversation. We will contact you as soon as possible, but no later than within two working days. You can also email Rhodé directly at: rhode.meijers@schoutenfood.com.

Rhode Meijers Schouten

What do our clients say?

  • “Schouten is proactive when it comes to product improvement and is focused on both product quality and efficiency. They listened to our concerns, acted by investing significantly in the right areas and have given us confidence in their abilities.”

    John Woods, Strategic Sourcing Manager at IPC EMEA
  • Nico Wormgoor - JUMBO

    “Schouten has been supplying our vegetarian products in private label form for years.”

    Nico Wormgoor, Senior Lead Category Manager meat, chicken, fish and vegetarian at Jumbo Supermarkten
  • “The Tofu of Schouten is not only popular with our customers. It is also a pleasure for our sourcing team to work with.”

    Martijn ter Horst, Category Manager at Marley Spoon
  • Schouten: Specialist in the development of vegan and plant-based products: Rene van Vulpen Qizini holding a plate with wraps with vegan falafel

    “A former colleague introduced me to this company some time ago. He said: ‘You must come to Giessen’ and I must admit their presentation was impressive.”

    René van Vulpen, Manager Product Development at QiZiNi
  • “Schouten challenges us with new ideas.”

    Rob Verhoef, Operational Director at Dutch Bakery
  • “We have been buying Schouten products for some time now, but the introduction of the vegetarian stir fry strips in tomato sauce is a great example of this successful collaboration.”

    Ruud Zoon, Commercial Manager at Larco Foods
  • Schouten: Specialist in the development of vegan and plant-based products: Sander Beelen, productontwikkelaar bij De Menken Keuken

    “We had already tested many recipes for vegan tuna salad, but the one with Vegan Green Tuna from Schouten was the best.”

    Sander Beelen, Product Developer at De Menken Keuken
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    Our experts

    Schouten Specialist in the development of plant-based products - Henk Schouten – CEO
    Henk Schouten
    Niek-Jan Schouten - COO
    Niek-Jan Schouten
    Rhode Meijers Schouten
    Rhodé Meijers - Schouten
    Sales Support Specialist
    Wouter Schouten – Strategic Buyer
    Wouter Schouten
    Strategic Buyer


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