RANDERS, Denmark – Danish Crown, the largest pork processor in Europe, announced plans to launch a plant-based burger by the end of the year. The company positioned the move into plant-based foods as a natural progression from “hybrid” products Danish Crown already makes, such as minced beef combined with root vegetables.

A plant-based burger will be part of the company’s product portfolio, said Finn Klostermann, CEO of Danish Crown Beef. But while competitors are working to create plant-based products that look like meat, Danish Crown will not adopt that strategy.

“It makes no sense,” Klostermann explained. “Meat is meat, and plants are plants. It should not look like meat, because it is not. But it must still be delicious and taste good.

“Although plant products must now be made at Danish Crown’s plant, this does not mean that the focus is removed from the core business, namely the sale of Danish beef and veal,” he added.

Klostermann noted that soy will not be used to make the Danish Crown burger. He said, “We should not make a product that is similar to the existing ones on the market. Our products must be made on, for example, peas or beets. They must be genuine, good and fresh.

“Soy products produced on the other side of the globe and imported therefrom are not sustainable. Our products must be of local origin.”

Danish Crown couldn’t ignore the rapid growth in sales of plant-based foods. Klostermann said the sale of plant-based products and support the sale of Danish beef. He said the company will develop the plant-based burger first and follow up with more hybrid products while continuing to tell the story of Danish meat and providing something for multiple tastes.

“When some customers want to eat a little less meat, then we also need to be able to deliver it,” he said. “And we can, for example, have a family with different preferences and attitudes. There, we can meet the needs of the whole family by having free choice markets where in the same product series you can choose plant-based, hybrid and pure meat products.”