Global consumer brands company Unilever announced the launch of its ‘Future Foods’ ambition, aimed at helping people transition towards healthier diets and reducing the environmental impact of the global food chain. As part of the new program, the company has set a new annual global sales target of €1 billion from plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, within the next five to seven years. Unilever has a broad line of food and beverage brands, including Lipton, Ben & Jerry’s and Knorr.

Other goals unveiled as part of Unilever’s new ambition include accelerating its target to halving food waste in its direct global operations from factory to shelf by 5 years 2025, doubling the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally by 2025, and lowering calorie, salt and sugar levels across the company’s food products.

Hanneke Faber, President of Unilever’s Foods & Refreshment Division, said:

“As one of the world’s largest food companies, we have a critical role to play in helping to transform the global food system. It’s not up to us to decide for people what they want to eat, but it is up to us to make healthier and plant-based options accessible to all. These are bold, stretching targets which demonstrate our commitment to being a force for good.

“It is widely recognised that the current global food system is inequitable and inefficient. One billion people around the world are hungry while two billion are obese or overweight. One third of all food produced is thrown away. And animal agriculture is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels and a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution and biodiversity loss.”

According to the company, growth in its plant-based alternatives sales will be driven by the roll-out of The Vegetarian Butcher as well as increasing vegan alternatives from brands including Hellmann’s, Magnum and Wall’s. Unilever acquired The Vegetarian Butcher in 2018, and has expanded the plant-based meat brand into more than 30 countries. Last year the brand was chosen as the supplier of Burger King’s Plant-Based Whopper and Plant-Based Nuggets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.