Jesper Højer, who resigned as CEO of private brands powerhouse Lidl in April, is back in the food business — he was named chairman of the board for The Meatless Farm Co., a British plant-based food maker.
Højer became CEO of Lidl in Europe and the U.S. in early 2017 following the departure of Sven Seidel, who left the company after about three years at the top because of differing views on Lidl’s business direction. Højer, who oversaw nearly 11,000 stores, resigned because he wanted to spend more time with his family.
The Meatless Farm Co. was started by Morten Toft Bech, a Danish entrepreneur with a background in tech investment, in 2017. It offers its products, including plant-based sausages and burgers at Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and the Cooperative in the United Kingdom and at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market in the U.S.
According to the U.S. edition of The Guardian, an international news source, Bech said he wants his company to be the “European version of Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods.” Bech has tabbed Højer to reach that goal.
“I have been following the market for meat alternatives for some time and The Meatless Farm Co. has a great opportunity to be one of the global leaders in this fast-developing food sector,” Højer told The Guardian.
The global market for plant-based meat substitutes could reach $140 billion over the next decade, according to reports. With Højer's experience in private brands, it will be interested to see if the company reaches out to that segment.'