GERMANY- Functional ingredients manufacturer Beneo GmbH has announced the appointment of Niels E Hower as the latest member of its executive board of directors.

The appointment, effective immediately, will see Hower responsible for Beneo’s portfolio of plant-based proteins. This portfolio includes Meatless, a specialized company for plant-based texturizing solutions, formed in 2005 and acquired by Beneo in May 2022.

Leading Beneo’s plant-based protein division, Hower will focus on continuing the development of Meatless to meet the growing demand for plant-based products, alongside Beneo’s wider ingredient portfolio that includes faba bean ingredients and textured wheat protein.

According to Research and Markets, the world’s largest market research store, the plant protein market is likely to increase its market value from US$10.126 billion in 2020 to US$17.414 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 8.05%. 

This significant growth will continue to be driven by sustainability concerns and a trend toward the adoption of veganism and vegetarianism all over the world. 

Beneo intends to be part of this growth and Hower will be leading the ingredients company in its quest to grow its plant-based protein offerings going forward. 

According to Beneo, Hower has more than 25 years of experience in the retail, wholesale, and life science sectors. 

He has an MBA in economics and has occupied several senior management roles during his career, where some of his key responsibilities have included category and product management, and operations.

Before joining Beneo as a board member, Hower was the EVP of global procurement at Fresenius Kabi. 

He also co-founded the Doctor Chococo brand, which launched a functional milk chocolate bar containing vitamin D and other beneficial ingredients.

I am happy to join the Beneo team, whose technical and nutritional expertise and longstanding experience has made the company a leading player for prebiotic chicory root fibers, functional carbohydrates, and specialty rice ingredients,” Hower said, commenting on his new role, 

Hower remarked that his ambition is to grow the plant-based protein business by accelerating market expansion and extending solutions.

He added: “In the future, we will continue to grow our range into more products to satisfy different market needs for meat and fish alternatives.

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