Former manager of the “Rügenwalder Mühle” distributes against vegan products

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Written By Maya Cantina

FRANKFURT AM MAIN. The former director of Rügenwalder Mühle, Godo Röben, has clearly criticized the manufacturers of vegan meat substitutes. “I think 80 percent of meat alternatives are bad in many ways,” he said in an interview with the FAZ. There is still much to improve, for example when it comes to smell, texture and the use of additives.

He also criticized the focus on doing without the environment as a marketing strategy. “People are not in the mood to save the world right now.” As an example, he cited the Greens, who “always preached renunciation” when it came to policy change. “That was the case with cars, with electricity and also with food – and it always blew up in their faces.“It will always be the case that people want to eat meat,” he added.

Röben still believes in the future of vegan substitutes

Nevertheless, Röben confirmed that the vegan industry has positive future prospects. Accordingly, sales of meat-free foods rose 18 percent in March alone. “In supermarkets there are not as many segments with growth rates as the vegetable range over the past ten years,” says the ex-manager. FAZ.

In addition, about half of the population wants to reduce the consumption of animal products, for example for health reasons. “It’s worth thinking about if the doctor tells you that you should eat vegetable fats instead of animal fats every day.” The business economist predicted that both government intervention and increasing productivity would provide the price advantage in favor of plant-based products. “In addition to better agricultural conditions, which cost money, there will probably also be an animal welfare tax and/or higher VAT on meat products,” he explains.

Röben was director of Rügenwalder Mühle from 1995 to 2021. Under his leadership, the food manufacturer developed into one of the first suppliers of meat substitute products in Germany. However, at the end of March, European competition authorities approved the sale of the company to the food company Pfeifer & Langen. Prior to the sale, the company reported a 90 percent decline in profit for 2022. (kuk)

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