Global food and drink supplier Unilever has revealed a new sales target of €1b (£892m) for its plant-based protein and dairy alternatives business.
The new global target is part of Unilever's Future Foods ambition, launched this week with two key objectives: to help people transition towards healthier diets and to help reduce the environmental impact of the food chain.
This growth will be driven by the company's plant-based alternative brands such as the Vegetarian Butcher and vegan alternatives from brands including Hellmann's, Magnum and Wall's.
The company has also committed to halve food waste in its direct global operations from factory to shelf by 2025, five years earlier than previously committed, as part of the Champions 12.3 coalition target.
Another goal for the company is to double the number of products delivering positive nutrition globally by 2025 – these are products which contain impactful amounts of vegetables, fruits, proteins, or micronutrients like vitamins, zinc, iron and iodine. The company also intends to continue lowering calorie, salt and sugar levels across products.
Hanneke Faber, president of Unilever's foods and 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."
After acquiring the Vegetarian Butcher in 2018, Unilever has expanded the plant-based meat brand into more than 30 countries and was last year chosen as the supplier of Burger King's Plant-Based Whopper and Plant-Based Nuggets across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.