Recap: TPC session on Hybrid Products

March 25, 2024

Recap: TPC Acceleration Session on Hybrid Products

During a recent event organized by The Protein Community, specialists in the field delved into hybrid products, addressing both obstacles and opportunities. 

Key insights:

  1. Innovation through Collaboration: The session commenced with Kees Pieters from the Provincie of Gelderland emphasizing the significance of collaborative efforts in fostering innovation within the hybrid products sector. The Protein Community acknowledges Kees’ contributions to advancing the protein transition, and Leo Koning, TPC manager, honored him with a Golden Bean award!

  2. Communication is key: Throughout the discussions, the importance of effective communication was underscored. Jeroen Willemsen (Foodvalley) presented various examples of hybrid products and their communication strategies. Some brands opt not to label their products as hybrid, while others highlight the ratio of plant-based to animal-based ingredients or emphasize reduced CO2 emissions compared to fully animal-based alternatives.
    Alice Pilkington (Mintel) suggests clearly communicating the advantages of hybrid products, focusing on aspects such as enhanced taste, health benefits, and environmental sustainability, rather than using percentages. She advises avoiding the term “hybrid” to position such products as less extreme while still emphasizing their meaningful environmental contributions.
  3. Market ready: Production of many hybrid products have stopped quickly. Was this due to ineffective communication or an unprepared market? Likely, it’s a mix of both factors. Alice Pilkington remains optimistic, suggesting that positioning hybrid products as a bridge between animal-based and plant-based diets could resonate with the increasing flexitarian demographic. She notes, “Ongoing media coverage on plant-based eating is continuing to fuel interest in plant-based eating and drinking long term.”

    During the session, a debate arose regarding whether hybrid products should have their own category in supermarkets or undergo a silent transition. Henk Schouten highlighted the challenge, as many consumers adhere to the mindset of “don’t mess with my meat,” potentially making hybrid products less appealing.

  4.  Innovate in action: Despite facing challenges, speakers emphasized several opportunities for hybrid products. Jan Vreugdenhil and Angelique Peterse (Vreugdenhil Dairy Foods) provided insights into their companies’ strategies for hybrid product development. These strategies range from co-manufacturing plant-based ingredients to re-imagining traditional recipes by incorporating plant-based alternatives.
  5. Many strategies possible: During the panel, participants explored obstacles impeding the acceptance of hybrid products, such as consumer resistance and misunderstandings regarding processing. To overcome these challenges and boost consumer acceptance, strategies like silent transitions, improved product labeling, and strategic placement in supermarkets were suggested. Rem van den Bosch (Seaburger) emphasized the significance of storytelling within the hybrid category, noting, “People purchase a brand, not just a specific product.”

Looking ahead

With the increasing demand for alternative protein products, the hybrid product market presents opportunities for innovation and collaboration. However, stakeholders encounter the challenge of fully realizing the potential of hybrid products. The session offered insights, fostered partnerships, and generated ideas to expedite time to market.

Jeroen concluded on an optimistic note, highlighting that Dutch caterers are targeting a 60/40 plant/animal protein ratio by 2030. This underscores the imperative of embracing hybrid solutions to meet these ambitious goals.


Insights from the Innovation Mission to Denmark

March 22, 2024

Insights from the Innovation Mission to Denmark

On March 17 – 20, 2024, Jeroen Willemsen (Innovation Lead Protein Transition at Foodvalley) and several TPC-partners went on an innovation mission to Denmark. This visit was planned with the goal to network and get inspired in the field of protein transition and was organized by the Province of Noord-Holland, Amsterdam Trade & Innovate and OostNL. This mission offered a chance to explore Denmark’s advancements in protein transition. This collaborative initiative, involving public and private entities, focuses on sharing knowledge and business opportunities within the protein ecosystem.

Some of our insights:


  • 43 Dutch participants joined, among which 18 TPC partners;
  • Round table with Dutch & Danish experts: ‘creating long term partnerships is key’. E.g. between producer and retailer, between the Netherlands and Denmark;
  • Product innovations at the Food Expo Herling:
    • Tempty: hybrid product combining Marlow-Ingredients’ Mycoprotein and Quinoa
    • PerfectSeason: vegetable burger with Danish roots


  • Agro Food Park Aarhus:
    • PlanetDairy: hybrid dairy – nondairy cheeses branded as Audu
    • Arla showcasing JÖRD (‘earth’), oat-based drinks and yoghurt
  • Danish Ministery for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries: round table on the Danish Action Plan on Plant Based Foods, including a multi-million Plant Based Food Grant.


Seven Danish Protein Transition-experts received a Golden Bean-pin as a token of appreciation for their protein transition work and the bond between the Netherlands and Denmark.

Next Innovation Mission: France
April 16-18, an trip to France is organised by RVO, exploring plant-based proteins for meat and dairy alternatives.