Bio-Planet is a pioneer of the Green Deal Protein Shift thanks to a wide range of plant-based protein sources

Bio-Planet is a pioneer of the Green Deal Protein Shift thanks to a wide range of plant-based protein sources

Did you know that more than 80% of what we eat comes from a supermarket? No wonder retailers play a crucial role when it comes to the offer of meat, fish and dairy substitutes. Bio-Planet has big ambitions. Their plant-based offer is expanding, and fast. The goal? To ensure that 60% of all proteins sold at Bio-Planet are plant-based by 2030. To support the transition from animal to plant-based proteins, Belgian supermarket Bio-Planet is launching 3 burgers with animal and plant-based proteins. This way, seasoned carnivores and flexitarians don't have to go cold turkey right away and the shift to a more plant-based diet is facilitated. Because choosing plant-based proteins over animal proteins contributes to a better environment, animal welfare, soil quality and a healthier diet.

More plant-based products on the table. That's the aim of the Green Deal Protein Shift.* Both producers and consumers are already moving towards a more sustainable diet today. But because protein culture is about our food traditions and habits (and additionally the standards and values we associate with food on our plates), the protein shift is an evolution rather than a revolution. The key is to match the protein shift to the lifestyles of Belgian consumers, and quite a few initiatives have been launched to achieve just that.

Gradually, plant-based fish, meat and dairy substitutes are being given more and more shelf space and the plant-based range is already finding its way into our shopping baskets.

Bio-Planet has big ambitions: their plant-based offer is expanding, and fast

“Our goal is to ensure that 60% of all proteins sold at Bio-Planet are plant-based by 2030, to thus help realise the Green Deal Protein Shift for all our customers. It's an ambitious goal, but setting a goal is important because it gives us something we can work towards. Through the Flemish Green Deal, we undertake to continue offering a broad and innovative plant-based offer. In this way we contribute together to a better environment and better health, step by step," according to Jan Van Holsbeke, Managing Director of Bio-Planet.

The first measurement, from February 2021 to March 2022, shows that of all proteins sold at Bio-Planet, 52% are animal origin and 48% are plant-based origin.

A great result, but not yet a complete shift. The goal is to ensure that 60% of all proteins sold at Bio-Planet are plant-based by 2030.

“The first measurement, from February 2021 to March 2022, shows that of all proteins sold at Bio-Planet, 52% are of animal origin and 48% are plant-based. Increasing those figures to meet the target starts with a wider assortment. The market share of plant-based variations for dairy, fish and meat has grown enormously in recent years thanks to various stakeholders across the food industry. This industry-wide effort is a great impetus. We're not achieving the shift alone, but together.” - Jeroen Van Belleghem – product strategist at Bio-Planet

NEW at Bio-Planet: meat burgers with plant-based proteins

“The willingness to achieve the shift is huge. Major meat and dairy companies are working on the protein transition at the highest level behind the scenes, and increasingly in front of it. We need to keep working on innovations to ensure meat and fish substitutes become even more widely available. Focusing on flavour is therefore a very important factor in this narrative. Only then will a transition from animal to plant-based be visible,” says Jeroen Van Belleghem - Product strategist at Bio-Planet.

A pioneer in the introduction of new alternative sources of protein, Bio-Planet is also driving this process by being at the controls in terms of product development: : from 1 April, it is launching three meat burgers with plant-based proteins developed in-house that will be available at the service counter of every Bio-Planet store. Hybrid burgers, excuse me?. This is the supermarkt's way of bringing the protein shift closer to consumers.

Because changing people's behaviour and habits takes time, patience and willpower, Bio-Planet is facilitating the move to a more plant-based lifestyle. The aim is to gradually reduce meat consumption, without sacrificing the familiar taste or texture of meat. To be clear, these burgers still contain meat, but less than we're used to. The aim is to serve a product whereby you don't actually notice you're eating less meat. For flexitarians, in particular, who are used to eating meat, these products are a good alternative to gradually incorporate more plant-based proteins into their menu, without having to go cold turkey.

“Substituting part of the meat by plant-based proteins saves water, CO2 emissions and is also healthier. The main benefit of this innovation is that carnivores and flexitarians don't feel they have to compromise on taste or texture, which is very important to them when they eat meat products. In other words, the step to less meat has become smaller. And that in itself is a step in the right direction. We want to encourage less meat consumption and impact current climate problems, but also consumer health. We're currently also working on another project in the context of the protein shift where residual streams of beer are being processed into a meat substitute.”- Anna Gryseels, Project leader of the Colruyt food innovation team

Good for you and good for the planet is win-win

Bio-Planet undertakes to put plant-based products on at least an equal footing as animal products, while at the same time offering customers a big choice. Both in terms of breadth and depth of product range, as well as in shelf space, promotions and communication.

“The plant-based market is growing every year and we can only encourage this. In the new stores that have opened since 2021, you'll find cereals, vegetables, fruit and plant-based alternatives first on your shopping route before you get to meat, fish and poultry. We also actively promote plant-based alternatives for meat, fish and poultry. Together with chef Seppe Nobels, for instance, we're developing new Belgian classics where vegetables take centre stage. Our website currently has more than 500 recipes, 60% of which are veggie or vegan. In the future, we will provide a plant-based alternative for every recipe with meat, fish or poultry. Vegetarian recipes are also widely covered in the newsletters. In this way, we try to make it easier for consumers by continuing to inspire them to choose plant-based proteins more often.” - Jan Van Holsbeke, Managing Director of Bio-Planet

Other Bio-Planet initiatives:

  • 60% of the Bio-Planet offer of protein-rich products are already plant-based. New delectable products are regularly added to the list.
  • Vegan alternatives for meat and poultry are clearly indicated.
  • 300 vegetarian online recipes provide inspiration for consumers And Colruyt Group Academy's cooking workshops have been given a veggie makeover: from ‘Making a vegan alternative for cheese’, ‘Pulses, unknown, unloved’ to ‘LifeTalks with Seppe Nobels with inspiration for creative BBQ dishes’.
  • Good deals make plant-based food accessible to everyone.

*What is the Green Deal Protein Shift?

The Green Deal Protein Shift is a partnership between the Flemish government and food sector organisations (retailers, producers, caterers, hospitality industry, NGOs, etc.). The Green Deal runs from 2021 to 2025 and aims for a better ratio of animal and plant-based products on our plates.

On average, Belgians mostly get their proteins from animal protein sources (60%) and to a lesser extent plant-based ones (40%). The aim is to turn these percentages around to 60% plant-based protein sources and 40% animal protein sources by 2030. . This evolution is referred to as the Protein shift.