The plant is their hero, their roots are in the ground

11 April 2024
Until recently, Aviko used animal products such as cheese and cream for their potato specialities due to a lack of plant-based alternatives. Through innovation, it is now possible to make a number of products entirely plant-based. Manfred Keizer, Senior Project Manager Business Development, and Willem Fijten, Innovation Director, both work at Aviko, a subsidiary of Royal Cosun. They are very pleased with the new possibilities where enjoyment remains the main priority.

Back to the plant

Aviko aims to have a plant-based alternative in every product category by 2025. This ambition suits the company perfectly, as its roots have been ‘in the ground’ for more than sixty years. The plant is their hero. They are passionate about allowing people to enjoy delicious potato specialities. In doing so, they take responsibility for the protein transition, progressively replacing more animal ingredients with plant-based alternatives wherever possible. Sustainability is also a key focus in this.

According to the Dutch Nutrition Centre, the environmental impact of Dutch potato cultivation is low regarding greenhouse gases and land use. However, processing and frying potatoes have a significantly higher climate impact than boiling them in water (RIVM, 2021)

Not health products

Many readers of this magazine are dietitians or health professionals. “Do not expect health claims from us,” both gentlemen warn. According to them, consumers choose Aviko’s products for enjoyment, whether at the dining table or as a snack. This experience is crucial for Aviko, and they wish to maintain this. Whenever possible, health considerations are taken into account during product development, but do not expect ‘health products’.


The fundamental principle is that Aviko does not compromise on taste and mouthfeel in all of this. Market research shows that consumers find the new, plant-based Snackables just as tasty as the dairy versions they have known for years. The company is proud of this. Tasters often can hardly believe they are eating a vegan product. This also means that hosts, whether in a private or professional setting, do not need to buy and prepare two different versions. Furthermore, vegans or vegetarians do not have to feel excluded with the vegan Snackables; everyone can enjoy the same meal and the same snack board.

Plant-based nuggets

For example, let’s compare the new plant-based Chili Cheezz Nuggets with the already known Chili Cheddar Cheese Nuggets: the plant-based version is filled with a deliciously creamy, entirely plant-based ingredient resembling cheese (based on Potato Cheezz developed within the Cosun group). The Chili Cheddar Cheese Nuggets use dairy-based cheese. In consumer panel tests, both versions score equally high on taste and mouthfeel. Health-wise, every small step counts: the plant-based nuggets contain thirty percent less salt and two and a half times more fibre. Thus, the plant-based version also achieves a better Nutri-Score, a C instead of the dairy version’s D (based on the updated algorithm). The plant-based Chili Cheezz Nuggets are available through various catering wholesalers and at a large chain of Dutch snackbars.

Stronger together

Collaboration with various business groups within Cosun opens up excellent opportunities for Aviko. For example, Aviko’s product developers have created a tasty, plant-based falafel burger with the ingredient Fidesse® that will also be available in the Netherlands in the second half of 2024. They are also exploring the application possibilities of Tendra®, a protein isolate from the fava bean. Potato Cheezz, the plant-based alternative to cream cheese, offers many opportunities to make snacks and gratins plant-based without compromising on taste and experience. Aviko is striving to keep the price level of plant-based and non-plant-based potato specialities the same for its customers. Overall, the company is well on its way to making its product range more plant-based. Aviko’s goal is to be a specialist in plant-based, delicious snacks by 2030.

Willem Fijten, Innovation Director      


This article is a translation from an interview in magazine Plant Positive Nutrition, April 2024

Media contact

Andries Olie, Spokesman
Andries Olie, Spokesman
Senior Manager of Nutrition, Health and Sustainability