How the partnership between Jacobsen and Raisio is reshaping the culinary world

The global food landscape is witnessing a remarkable surge in plant-based products, which has prompted numerous facets of the industry to adapt to this growing demand. One such industry is the meat trade. While the notion of meat traders embracing plant-based alternatives may seem counterintuitive, it holds immense potential for business growth and diversification. There is no better example of this than the inspiring partnership between Raisio Food Solutions and Jacobsen.


For the past 70 years, Germany’s Jacobsen has solidified its stance as one of the world’s leading importers of high-quality food and other food items. Based in the harbor of Hamburg, Jacobsen deals with a varied clientele of customers and business partners, from wholesalers to cash-and-carry – and of course with Finland’s own Raisio, whose Beanit® line of products is a keystone of Jacobsen’s plant-based alternatives.

As noted, the partnership between Raisio and Jacobsen may seem like a strange brew of business to the untrained eye, given that Jacobsen is known as one of the premier meat traders in the world. However, as Jacobsen’s General Manager Jan Tilsner puts it, the collaboration of the companies was brought on not only by Jacobsen’s deep understanding of evolving markets but the company’s aim towards a more sustainable tomorrow.

Read on to find out more about the partnership between Jacobsen and Raisio, and how your company can get on the fast track of growth on the food market by supplementing your product line with Raisio’s unique Beanit® products!


Balance is the key

The environmental impact of the meat industry has become a topic of global concern. Livestock farming contributes to deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, among other ecological issues. Plant-based products, on the other hand, require fewer natural resources, produce lower carbon emissions, and have a smaller ecological footprint. This fact is not lost on the people working at Jacobsen.

We have been on a mission to find more sustainable ways of business in the meat industry”, Jan Tilsner states. “For example, the carbon dioxide produced by cattle in South America is massive, and the ecological footprint is so immense that shipping has basically no effect. 97 percent of the carbon dioxide and methane is produced by the cow itself.

The only way to reduce the carbon footprint the meat industry produces is to offer people alternatives, and for people to eat less meat. It’s that simple.

As a forerunner in the meat trading industry, Jacobsen quickly started looking for plant-based partnerships and meeting their sustainability goals by offering their customers a high-quality selection of new products with a reduced impact on global health.

We had some crucial criteria to meet”, Tilsner continues. “We were looking for a selection of products that fall in line with our high-quality beef selection. We also wanted to find something that’s not just trying to mimic meat, but rather something that offers a valid alternative in a unique package.

Tilsner continues, that Jacobsen isn’t trying to take away anyone’s enjoyment of meat, but rather offer possibilities to diversify one’s diet.

Enjoy your steak. Just not every day.


An uphill battle towards global health

By Tilsner’s account, Jacobsen went through almost 30 other companies before landing on Raisio Food Solutions. The key was to find a range of products that not only matched Jacobsen’s high standards in product quality but was also unique and profiled enough to stand out from their traditional meat offerings.

Tilsner praises the way the cooperation between Raisio and Jacobsen has evolved over time, but also sheds light on the challenges of penetrating the monolithic structure of the modern food industry. Reaching new heights tends to be an uphill battle, indeed.

Reducing the consumption of meat is important for global health, but in our view, this must be accomplished with products that offer an alternative rather than a mimicking product. Raisio’s products are honestly plant-based, rather than trying to be something they’re not. But that, of course, also means it’s something people are not yet accustomed to. There are attitudes that need altering.

Tilsner goes on to note, however, that everyone in the industry is continually smitten by Raisio’s products after the first impulse of trepidation has subsided. This is often accomplished by simply educating food professionals on the usage of the products. Turns out, Raisio’s Beanit® Textured Fava Protein Mince and Beanit® Textured Oat-Plant Protein Mince are effortlessly easy to apply to any kitchen’s needs. Practicality is indeed the best way to quell suspicious minds.

Read more on how Raisio’s products can help transform your kitchen into a playground of possibilities from our chat with esteemed chef Kim Palhus here!


Expand your horizons for the benefit of the customer

Expanding into plant-based products presents an opportunity for forward-thinking food traders to diversify their product offerings and expand their customer reach. By embracing plant-based alternatives, meat traders can attract new customers who might not consume meat or prefer a more balanced approach to their diet. As far as business goes, that’s a win-win for everyone.

Tilsner goes on to note that while there is still work to be done and avenues to conquer, the world is steadily adopting a healthier, more sustainable outlook on culinary options and choices.

I think we are on the way for plant-based products to be viewed as an equal protein source among beef, poultry, seafood, and so on. People are expecting to have the option of having their protein source be plant-based, which I see as a key part of the future of the market.

Tilsner notes, however, that he is not a fan of plant-based products that are masquerading as meat products.

You need only to look at the ingredients to find out that they’re not really healthy for you.

Raisio’s plant-based products, however, are produced with immaculate standards from primarily locally sourced Nordic ingredients, while also boasting an unmistakable taste and texture profile. Read more about Raisio’s unique product model and Good Food Plan here.


Choose carefully

The plant-based industry is experiencing rapid innovation, with companies developing an array of exciting products. This goes hand-in-hand with customer expectations, which are on a constant upturn in every corner of the world.

The new generation is rising, and they expect to be catered to as meat eaters, flexitarians, vegetarians, vegans, and so on”, Tilsner continues. “As people’s knowledge of the products and their contents expands, the market for plant-based products will continue to grow.

When asked what advice Jan Tilsner would offer other wholesalers looking to expand their selection with plant-based products, the gist is simple: choose carefully.

Have a look at the list of ingredients. Be mindful of what the strategy behind the product is. Is it mimicking meat? Is the product being marketed by guilt-tripping customers about consuming meat, rather than offering something with actual taste as an alternative to help you expand your diet?

Choose your product wisely – and go with something that’s honestly plant-based.

By following in Jacobsen’s footsteps and diversifying your selection with Raisio’s plant-based products, new avenues will emerge providing access to new markets. This enables you to not only cater to evolving dietary choices, but also find alignment with increasingly vital sustainability goals.

Raisio’s Beanit® Textured Fava Protein Mince and Beanit® Textured Oat-Plant Protein Mince are shining examples of products with the capacity to drive business growth into the foreseeable future, but also contribute to a healthier, more environmentally friendly food system.

Don’t hold out on your customers – get in touch with Raisio’s dedicated food professionals and join us on the journey of providing people all around the world with a taste of a healthier, more sustainable future without sacrificing taste along the way!


Ville Viksten

Export Manager, Plant Proteins


+358 44 231 7906