Future of plant proteins – Henk Schouten (Schouten Europe)

Henk Schouten, President with Schouten Europe from The Netherlands will be presenting at the 13 Plant Based Foods Summit, 3-5 June in Calgary and sharing his vision on the future of plant proteins.

What is your role in the 13th Plant-Based Foods Summit, June 3-5 in Calgary?

On June 4th I will give a presentation about the newest developments in the meat-free market worldwide.

On June 5th I will be one of the speakers and talk about the topic: Building a Plant-Based Foods Eco-System in The Netherlands: A Multi-Stakeholder Approach. After that I will lead the Panel Discussion: Building Sustainable Plant-Based Foods Eco-Systems.

What can you tell us about the content of your presentation and your experiences?

With our Schouten family business we are working worldwide in the field of plant based protein. We are active in this market since 1990 and do have many knowledge and experience within this category. During my first presentation I will share an overview of the current market, show new trends and developments and talk about how we see the future of the category. On June 5th I will show some examples of our multi stakeholder approach in The Netherlands. We believe the big category growth in the Dutch retail (+20%) is partly driven by this approach.

What is exciting for you in this role and what do you think of the program?

I look forward to attend the summit and I believe the program is very interesting and diverse.

What do you hope will be the outcome of this Summit?

I hope we can learn from each other and inspire each other to further accelerate the protein transition worldwide.

What is your role in the protein transition?

Next to the business part I’m also socially involved in the protein transition. With multiple stakeholders I’m very active to share the message of the need for a protein transition. Examples of this initiatives are The Green Protein Alliance and CHIEF. About these initiatives I will share more details during one of my contributions during the summit.

What is the role of your organisation can play in the protein transition?

With our company we develop new products and improve existing products. We believe that better products will stimulate the transition. Many people are already convinced about the necessity of eating less meat but still they want to eat tasty products. When we can offer that tasty products, people will not miss their meat and easily adapt a diet with more plant proteins.

Which barriers for the protein transition exist now in your society in your opinion?

In The Netherlands the barriers are declined the last years. The product quality and image of the product group improved strongly. The availability is good and NGO’s and governments are stimulating the intake of more plant protein. Unfortunately this isn’t the case yet in many other countries we’re active in. We believe that in The Netherlands because of the increasing competition, prices will decrease the coming years. This can be a barrier nowadays for groups of (potential) customers.

How should we tackle them as a society?

Producers, retailers, NGO’s, Governments and consumers do have to work together. The common goal has to be central in all communication. Of course there will be competition between different producers but the potential of the product category is that big that it’s better to enlarge the market first and therewith achieve the common goals around protein transition.

Henk Schouten is founder and CEO of Schouten Europe B.V. (est. 1990), the first Dutch company to focus especially on meat substitutes. Henk started also Schouten Middle East, Schouten Aahaar India and Schouten USA and is one of the initiators of the Green Protein Alliance. His sons Niek-Jan, Peter and Wouter and his daughter Rhodé are participating also in the Schouten family business. Henk is also involved in a local project called CHIEF, an estate where students, governments, companies and NGO’s will learn and experience more about plant proteins.


About the 13th Plant Based Foods Summit

The 13th Plant-Based Food Summit will focus on:

  • New Consumer Trends
  • New Retail & Food Service Opportunities
  • New Category & Brands Innovations

The demand for plant-based foods is increasing and there are many opportunities for retailers, food service operators, and brands to serve the consumer better and more inspiring foods. Consumers are also seeking more healthy and sustainable diets and they are increasing their plant-based food intake. What is driving consumers? How relevant is the climate when shopping for food? What are the nutritional characteristics? Is this a relevant trend? What does Generation X think about plant-based or vegan? How can retailers and food service channels capitalize on the trend of plant-based? Where are we now and what does the future look like? What are the do’s and don’ts to build the category with brands? What can North America learn from Europe? Innovation is booming. New brands and categories are popping up in the existing outlets, but also in new ones. Who will lead the market in 2 years time? How do investors perceive the plant-based opportunity and brands active in this space?

This unique Summit will enable brands to validate their strategies and develop new opportunities with key partners, retailers, and food service channels.

Track I: New Consumer Trends
This Track will create a better understanding of consumers. What is driving them? How relevant is the climate when shopping for food? What are the nutritional requirements? Is this a relevant trend? What does Generation X think about plant-based or vegan? How do you communicate? How will Canada´s New Food Guide influence consumers? What will drive consumers to buy more plant-based foods?

Track II: Retail & Food Service Opportunities
The purpose of this Track is to discuss and showcase how retailers and food service channels capitalize plant-based opportunities. Where are we now and how does the future look like? What are the do’s and don’ts to build the category with brands? What can North America learn from Europe?

Track III: Category & Brand Innovations
This Track will focus on innovation. Investments in marketing and category development by brands are booming. New brands and categories are popping up in the existing outlets, and new channels are also being developed. Who will lead the market in the next 2 years? What is the opportunity for meat, dairy, bakery and other categories? How can they ride the wave? How do investors look at the plant-based opportunity and at new brands in this space?

Top 7 Plant-Based Foods Summit Objectives

Join this unique Summit and capitalize on below fantastic opportunities to advance and accelerate for a better food world.

1. Creating a New Industry Platform for Plant-Based Foods in Canada
2. Enabling (Plant)-Based Food companies to validate business strategies with best-in-class market and business insights
3. Growing the membership of Plant-Based Foods of Canada
4. Assisting SME companies with route to market and market access & defining the gaps for business
5. Creating a new platform for Protein Industries Canada for business and project development
6. Putting the province of Alberta on the map as a key place to do business and to innovate
7. Building a new global plant-based eco-system for business and innovation

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