The “plant-based revolution” is not just one of the dominant international food trends, it is also a very apt description of the development of Hydrosol. A specialist for stabilising and texturing systems, within just a few years the company has grown to become one of the key players in the burgeoning market for plant-based alternatives. Its product portfolio has expanded enormously, and last year this expertise was bundled in the newly founded Plant Based Competence Center. Now comes the next step. Hydrosol’s unit for plant-based has become an autonomous company, and as of 28 September, Planteneers – The Plant Based Pioneers – are the experts for plant-based alternatives within the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. This new subsidiary builds on the success of Hydrosol, and is likewise led by Managing Director Dr. Matthias Moser.
Growth for both Hydrosol and Planteneers
“We intend to continue to grow with both companies,” emphasises Torsten Wywiol, CEO of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. “With that in mind, it will be important to focus on each of their strengths, and further build on them for both brands with the appropriate strategies in each case. That’s the reason we separated the plant-based field out of Hydrosol. To put it differently, our former ‘plant based baby’ has grown up and is ready to strike out on its own. We’re bundling its capabilities in a dedicated company.”
This is the perfect time, according to Dr. Moser: “The category of plant-based solutions for alternative forms of nutrition has already attained remarkable scale. But it still offers significant further growth opportunities, which we can make much better use of with a dedicated company and a focused strategy.” The conditions could not be more promising. According to A.T. Kearney, through 2040 worldwide revenue with plant-based alternatives to meat products will more than triple to USD 450 billion. For alternative dairy products, Future Market Insights prognisticates a doubling of the market volume through 2029 to around USD 34.6 billion. Plant-based is also rapidly becoming a new normal in out-of-home eating. “Through intensive research, creative ideas and tireless pioneering spirit, at Planteneers we intend to play an active role in shaping the future of the industry,” explains Dr. Moser. “We’re definitely moving beyond just stabilising and texturising. At Planteneers we’re concentrating on the development of trend product concepts in the growth categories.” The focus is on plant-based alternatives to meat, sausage and fish products, dairy products and deli foods, as well as hybrid products.
And Hydrosol? The company will continue to apply its proven innovative strength to its core business – the stabilisation and texturing of trend products for the dairy, meat and deli foods industry, an important area as the worldwide food industry pays more and more attention to texture in foods. This is particularly the case for categories like free from, clean label and lean label, which continue to see steadily rising demand.
Hydrosol’s expertise in stabilising and texturing naturally benefits its new sister company. Close communication between the technologists of both companies ensures that plant-based desserts have the desirable creamy texture and meat alternatives feature the familiar meaty bite. Through collaboration with the other Stern-Wywiol Gruppe subsidiaries, Planteneers can offer customers attractive system solutions from a single source, from stabilising and texturing to flavouring and fortification. Dr. Moser comments: “We’re positioning Planteneers as a cornerstone within the group.” Issues like environmental protection and animal welfare, as well as health, are currently the main drivers for consumer purchases of plant-based alternatives, and the growing world population is bringing a new dynamic to the field. “Plant-based alternatives are gaining enormously in importance. Planteneers is our clear commitment to this rapidly expanding category,” notes Dr. Moser. Torsten Wywiol adds, “with this new company we are developing attractive solutions and making an important contribution to the fast-growing market for foods from plant-based alternatives. It is our clear objective to establish this newest subsidiary successfully on the international market.”