Fazer: 83 percent of Finns use plant-based products

Helsinki / FI. (fg) Finns are at the forefront of plant-based product consumption in the Nordic countries. The new «Willja» product family responds to the continuously increasing demand for plant-based products and contributes to Fazer Group’s journey towards a modern, sustainable food company.

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The demand for plant-based products is clearly increasing in Finland. According to consumer study commissioned by Fazer in December 2021, more than half of the respondents would like to eat plant-based products more than they currently do. Today, Fazer will introduce a new plant-based product family, Fazer Willja, in all Nordic countries. The new products made from oats are designed to help in adding more plant-based food in the consumers’ everyday meals.

The Fazer Willja product family includes the ready-to-eat Fazer Willja Veggie Bites, Fazer Willja Crispy Nuggets and Fazer Willja Spread + Dip dips, which can also be used as a spread or a sauce. Furthermore, the Fazer Alku Ruokakaura and Ruokaohra, two high in fibre sides made from oats and barley already available in the market, will be included in the new Fazer Willja product family. The varied protein composition of the products is a combination of plant proteins, and the products are low in hard fat. The milk-free products, which are suitable also for a vegan diet, will become available in February 2022.

Finland is a pioneer of plant-based products

According to the research, Finns are at the forefront of plant-based products when compared to other Nordic countries. As many as 83 percent of Finns say they use at least one plant-based product. In Sweden, the corresponding percentage is 76, in Norway, 55, and in Denmark, 53. According to YouGov, more than 25 percent of Finns say their consumption of vegetarian food has increased in the last year.

«Finns are increasingly interested in the impact that food has not only on their own well-being, but also on the environment. According to our research, consumers wish that the plant-based product portfolio would be widened especially with more cooking products, ready-to-eat plant-based meals, and snacks. Fazer Willja responds exactly to this demand. The product family makes plant-based choices easy for consumers, without compromising on taste or nutritional value,» says Risto Kalsta, Vice President, Marketing, Fazer Lifestyle Foods.

Fazer knows oats

Oats are one of Fazer’s focus areas, and the company possesses world-class competence and technological resources for the innovation and production of different oat-based consumer products. Due to the increase in demand, Fazer doubled the capacity of its oat mills in Lahti and Lidköping, Sweden last year.

«One of our company’s sustainability goals is to widen our plant-based product portfolio. Fazer Willja contributes to Fazer’s path towards a modern, sustainable food company,» Kalsta continues.

Fazer uses all parts of the oats in its production processes. It will start to produce xylitol from oat hulls, a side stream of the mills, in a new factory that utilises the circular economy, in Lahti. The production in the xylitol factory will begin during the spring of 2022.

Risto Kalsta: «Oats are a tasty grain with a good nutritional value and scientifically proven health effects. We don’t need to bring it from faraway countries, as first-class oats are grown in the same place where our mills are located. Thanks to the high level of food safety in the Nordic countries and the innovative product development, we expect to see demand for Fazer Willja also outside the Nordic countries» (Photo: Fazer).