Tofu maker The Tofoo Co is increasing production capacity by 70 per cent to keep up with growing demand for protein alternatives.
The Malton-based company has installed a brand new Soy Milk Cooker from Japan which will generate an additional 50 tonnes of plain tofu per week at the factory.
Plant-based products have been extremely popular among British consumers who are reducing meat consumption and looking for healthier options during the pandemic.
Since Tofoo's inception in 2016 the turnover has risen from £600,000 to £14 million. Today, the company has 93 employees and continues to grow to meet demand. Currently, they are recruiting for new positions and launching new products. The company is planning to reach a £20 million annual turnover by 2021.
David Knibbs, the managing director of The Tofoo Co, said: "The arrival and installation of the new milk cooker marks a further 1 million pound investment at the Tofoo factory.
"The new piece of equipment will support the business to increase its monthly turnover that currently sits at over £1 million. We're also expanding our operational output with packing hall machinery and pressing to ensure we have enough capacity to meet the anticipated high demand.
"Trends suggest that interest in trying tofu has increased, and with cafés and restaurants currently closed, people are experimenting more with what they can cook at home. The tofu category penetration is continuing to increase, up 40 per cent compared to two years ago, and its share in meat-free is growing month on month."
The company has also been working on new products development.
David added: "When we purchased the brand in 2016 it was only selling block tofu, but we've taken this basic concept and developed it further.
"It's gratifying to see how much Tofoo has been embraced by consumers and how many people we've engaged who previously didn't understand how to use tofu.
"It's a versatile product which has been enjoyed in Eastern diets for thousands of years and we want to encourage consumers to see it as a staple ingredient."