Fazer taps plant-based boom in quest to become leading player in Northern Europe
“Fazer is aiming to grow in northern Europe and beyond,” said Christoph Vitzthum, Fazer’s president and CEO.
“Today's conscious consumers value convenience and wellbeing, and Fazer’s growth is based on in depth consumer insights turned into innovative products and meaningful food experiences.
“The superfood oats are booming worldwide and Fazer will leverage its knowledge in oats further.”
The investment will be used to build two new mills, which will double the current oat milling capacity of its facilities in Lahti, Finland, and Lidköping, Sweden.
The Lahti facility – which Fazer claims is the largest mill in Finland – produces various grain products like flour, flakes and mixes for bakeries, as well as value-added ingredients such as oat beta-glucan, oat protein and oat oil.
The Lidköping plant sources locally cultivated grain from the Västgötaslätten area to create oat, wheat and rye products, including the Frebaco Kvarn-branded organic muesli, porridge and breakfast cereals.
Fast-growing consumer demand
Vitzthum added Fazer will continue its research in oats and oat ingredients, working more closely with external parties, such as universities, research networks and start-ups.
“Milling expertise and research and development related to oats will, in the future, become even more essential parts of Fazer’s strategical objectives,” he said.
“There is a fast-growing consumer demand for nutritious plant-based food produced from locally grown raw materials.”
He noted that doubling the capacity in both mills will also open for new employment opportunities.
Earlier this year, Fazer announced plans to build a €10.7m ($11.7m) facility in Finland capable of producing xylitol from oat hulls, the factory, located next to the mill in Lahti, will be ‘the first fully backwards integrated xylitol factory,’ it said at the time.