Heather Mills bought a former crisp factory to be turned into Britain’s biggest vegan food producer, and the new factory will create up to 500 jobs in the area. With many other factories closing in the country, Mills has created new opportunities for people who lost their jobs. While doing so, she is also forwarding the vegan lifestyle.
Mills founded VBites in 1993, way before the vegan trend started to boom. The company boasts being the pioneers of plant-based food, and they specialize in creating meat substitutes of all kinds. As a vegan, you don’t have to miss out on all the flavours and nutrients found in meat because they are able to create substitutes so close to the real thing that you won’t even notice the difference.
Mills bought the old Walker factory after hearing from a friend who worked there that PepsiCo had planned to close it.
In 2017, the company shut down the factory, and around 355 jobs were lost. With the new VBites factory, Mills has brought back jobs to the area. Instead of crisps, workers will now produce meat substitutes from the proteins of seaweed, peas, and other plants.
Mills also plans to buy other closing factories and turn them into VBites producers. It was reported that she sought to buy a Coty factory in Northumberland to turn it into her fourth factory. When operations stopped in 2017, around 500 jobs were lost. As the company grows bigger and bigger, Mills may continue to buy old factories in the area. After all, the company makes more than 100 products, so they’ll need all the factories and resources they can get.
VBites is a largely successful company with a growing market. Last year, it was reported that one in three Britons have decided to stop or reduce their consumption of meat. This means that there’s a huge market for vegan food, and Mills has recognized this—targeting flexitarians or people who want to cut back on meat and dairy intake.
Even if it’s not purely altruistic, Mills has created jobs for those who lost it through her animal advocacy and business sense. She has replaced these non-vegan factories with a factory of her own.