The Food & Drink Business Podcast Ep9: Plant protein pioneer Proform Foods CEO Matt Dunn
Food & Drink Business editor Kim Berry is joined by Matthew Dunn, three-time Olympian and CEO of Proform Foods to talk about plant-based protein, their new MEET brand and growth plans.
Matt shares the company’s origin story, with his father Stephen Dunn creating Proform Foods in 2008 based on his pioneering research with the CSIRO in 2005 and 2006 on large scale plant-based protein production. Matt gives us his recollections of Stephen’s work in the 1980s and 1990s working in cereals production that led to joining CSIRO, forming Proform Foods and its growth as a commercial supplier of plant-based protein to some of Australia’s most well-known brands in the market. Matt also discusses his involvement with the company which started while still at school and then developed further as his progress in elite-level sport drove his research into healthy diet options to provide the essential fuel his body required.
Our discussion includes how Proform Foods is managing to avoid some of the major criticisms of plant-based meats while still keeping their products enjoyable to eat and maintaining their associated health benefits. This naturally includes a discussion of the company’s R&D investments, the patents they hold and the custom machinery they’ve developed for use in their new manufacturing facility.
Having been a contract manufacturer of plant-base protein products for other brands, Proform Foods have now launched their own consumer range of products under the brand MEET, which holds a 4.5 Star Health Star Rating. We cover the various products available, the base ingredients the company has used and the fact that MEET is currently using 75 per cent Australian sourced ingredients with the goal of becoming 100 per cent Australian sourced in the near future.
Matt talks to us about the varied challenges the market faces, including consumer views of plant-based meats and sustainable growth while also looking at the incredible opportunities being offered through the company’s international distribution and their recent partnership with Coles to distribute MEET products across Australia.
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MC: Grant McHerron
Host: Kim Berry
Editor: Chris Visscher
Producer: Steve Visscher
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