Nordic food group HKScan has expanded further into the plant-based market with a joint venture with Finland-based private bakery business Leivon Leipomo.

HKScan, also headquartered in Finland, will own 49% of the venture – Boltsi Oy – which will be headed up by Leivon Leipomo managing director Harri Jaakkola.

The Boltsi brand of oat-seed balls has been developed by Leivon Leipomo, founded in 1913, for the retail channel. However, under the venture, HKScan will manufacture the plant-based product on its own production lines in its existing facilities.

Last November, HKScan, traditionally a meat processor, teamed up with local food firm Hes-Pro (Finland) to develop plant-based protein products for the foodservice sector.

HKScan’s chief executive Tero Hemmilä said in a statement today (20 May): “We will combine our expertise and promote the development and growth of the Boltsi product family. Partnership with Leivon Leipomo supports HKScan’s strategic target to expand into new product categories and to grow into a versatile food company. 

“I believe that HKScan can provide Leivon Leipomo with a strong commercial platform enabling the growth of the Boltsi product family, primarily in Finland but possibly in other HKScan’s home markets as well.”

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Leivon Leipomo’s Jaakkola added: “We have been looking for a partner to advance the success story of our Boltsi product family, since Leivon Leipomo’s own resources are limited. HKScan’s commercial position both in Finland and in the company’s other home markets in the Baltic Sea region, as well as development resources and production capacity, provide a very good basis for the development and growth of the Boltsi product family.”