Quorn Foods announces new Chief Executive to continue rapid expansion

Current CEO Kevin Brennan to step down, with Marco Bertacca to take the helm in January 2020.

Quorn Foods, the world leader in meat-alternatives, has announced the appointment of Marco Bertacca as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. Bertacca will assume the role on the 6th of January 2020 from the current Chief Executive Kevin Brennan, leading the organisation’s rapid growth in the UK, and continued international momentum for the meat-free food brand. Bertacca will also oversee increased investment in research and development programmes, to ensure long-term success in the alternative protein sector.

From January, Bertacca will be based in Stokesley, North Yorkshire at Quorn Foods’ headquarters after relocating from the Philippines where he served as Managing Director for Alaska Milk Corporation, a Friesland Campina company. His most recent role is the latest in an extensive career leading international brands in the food industry. Bertacca brings an outstanding track record of success and valuable experience from senior leadership roles at Unilever, BakeMark, CSM Bakery Solutions and Friesland Campina.

Bertacca’s appointment marks the end of Kevin Brennan’s successful decade-long tenure as Chief Executive. Brennan has driven a period of sustained growth for Quorn Foods, with the company reporting double-digit global sales growth in recent years, as Quorn led the way in developing one of today’s major food trends. Under Brennan’s leadership, the brand has step-changed investment in marketing and in research and development, to take Quorn from being a niche vegetarian brand to a Top 30 food brand in the UK. Focus on the USA in recent years has established a strong market presence for Quorn, with a 50% increase in distribution in 2019 alone.

Commenting on Bertacca’s appointment, Brennan said, “Marco has a breadth of food industry experience which is highly relevant to Quorn Foods and matches it with the leadership capabilities to take the company onto to the next phase of its journey, one which I believe can materially impact the health of the public and our planet. The next five years are going to be defining for our business and requires consistent and strong leadership to chart the course that the company will take. After ten years in charge, I feel I have made a significant contribution, but the time is now right for me to move on to non-executive roles, and give myself more time for my music.”

Speaking on his appointment, Bertacca commented, “This is a terrific opportunity to steer Quorn Foods during a time of significant growth and change for our industry. There are few trends seeing the same fervour or attention like the trend towards meat-reduction, flexitarianism and veganism. More consumers than ever are conscious about the impact of the food they eat on their health, and the health of the planet. There is a unique opportunity for Quorn to meet this demand with innovation and quality – taking us into the next decade and beyond. I am delighted to build on the great work Kevin and the Quorn team have done so far and take it to the next level.”

Academic and commercial studies show the clear opportunity for Quorn within this sector. Not only is there consensus that eating less meat has a positive impact on the planet[1], further recent findings have demonstrated the superior health credentials of Quorn. A recent study by The University of Exeter highlighted that Quorn protein builds muscle better than milk protein[2] – and through rigorous product development – Quorn has now been able to match the taste and texture of chicken, a development that bolsters its market-leading portfolio. Backed by this scientific evidence of Quorn’s nutrition and quality, the brand is well-placed as the best alternative protein company in the market to meet growing consumer demand.

Quorn Foods is owned by Monde Nissin, one of the leading food consumer goods companies in the Philippines. Henry Soesanto, Chief Executive of Monde Nissin added “Kevin has made a transformational impact on the Quorn business, but we understand his desire to step down at this point and thank him for his commitment to the company throughout his tenure. We are pleased that Kevin will stay on until mid-2020 in a consultative role to ensure a smooth transition and to complete some key growth projects.”

“We are delighted to have found a new Chief Executive of such a high calibre in Marco Bertacca, and are confident that his leadership will continue to drive Quorn Foods’ innovation and growth”, concluded Soesanto.

[1] Nature Journal – Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits October, 2018

[2] The University of Exeter, Quorn protein builds muscle better than milk protein, July 2019