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Alpro to Invest €80 million in 2015

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Alpro to Invest €80 million in 2015

Alpro to Invest €80 million in 2015
March 16
09:38 2015

Alpro, the Belgium-based pioneer and market leader for soya-based drinks and food products, is to invest €80 million in eight new production lines to hugely increase its production capacity for Europe. The expansion is in response to the continuing growth in sales of soy drinks, plant-based alternatives to yoghurt and the sale of drinks based on other ingredients such as almonds, oat, rice and coconut.

Since 2012, Alpro has been expanding its existing range of drinks and food products based on soy and introducing plant-based drinks based on almond and hazelnut. Alpro has already invested about €75 million in new production lines, recruited 200 new staff and made great efforts to promote its brand.

Bernard Deryckere, chief executive of Alpro.

Bernard Deryckere, chief executive of Alpro.

In 2015, an extra €80 million will be invested and 250 employees recruited. “In recent years, we’ve witnessed a strong growth of our company. From a company marketing soy-based products only, we’ve grown into a company focusing on several ingredients beside soy such as almond, hazelnut, oat, coconut and on several categories such as drinks, plant-based alternatives to yoghurt and cream, desserts, etc. To be able to maintain this growth, we will – also in the future – have to invest strongly and, this way, create scale effects,” explains Bernard Deryckere, chief executive of Alpro.

The eight new production lines – five in the biggest factory at Wevelgem in Belgium and three in the United Kingdom – will increase the total number of lines from 18 to 26. This will result in a major expansion in overall production capacity and necessitate the creation of 250 new jobs, of which 200 will be in Belgium.

Another innovation is that the almond and hazelnut drinks will as of now be manufactured in Alpro’s own plants. This will allow the company to better anticipate the further growth and development of these products. “At a time when other companies increasingly outsource, we choose to manufacture products that ‘are new and will become big’ internally to the maximum extent possible,” says Bernard Deryckere.

He adds: “The future is looking promising. According to our prognoses, the plant-based drinks and food market will grow in the next few years by another 15 -20% per year. Also on an international level, the growth margin is still considerable. Hence our investments in both new production lines and new employees but also in innovations.”

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