Australian Retailer Woolworths Doubles Down On Alt-Protein Investment With Multi-Million Funding For All G Foods
3 Mins Read
Australian retailer Woolworths’ venture capital fund W23 is backing plant-based meat startups, injecting new funding into Sydney-based All G Foods. The amount remains undisclosed but adds to a $16 million seed round in September last year. Funding will be used to create a “next wave of food innovation” in line with All G’s vision for plant-based meats and Woolworths’ commitment to stocking more animal-free options.
All G currently produces a range of plant-based protein products, branded as Love BUDS. It is expected to use the new funding to expand product lines ahead of a rollout onto Woolworths’ shelves this year. In addition, the company is developing precision fermentation technology to expand into animal-free dairy alongside its meat alternatives.
Australia’s next gen optimism
All G was founded on the principle of challenging existing food systems and creating a positive food movement. It wants to create planet- and human-healthy foods that give more than they take away, in terms of resources. The result is a dual-brand operation that focuses on replacing animal meat and dairy with sustainable alternatives.
The company’s seed funding round last year represented one of the largest of its kind in Australia. It will not be the last, if company predictions are anything to go by. All G has stated that it expects precision fermentation to inspire “a new wave of investment and opportunity” for the country. This will prove useful when MilkCELL, the dairy arm of the firm, is ready to launch in earnest. New facilities are being touted for two or three years’ time, supported by Woolworths’ investment.
In the meantime, existing plant-based meat brand Love BUDS is seeing upward growth. Plant-based burger patties are sold at more than 300 retail locations, with restaurants and foodservice outlets stocking them too. Building on this success is a priority, with mince, sausages, bacon, and nuggets all slated for commercial release in the near future. Woolworths’ latest cash injection will play a pivotal role in bringing the developments to market.
“The W23 investment into All G Foods provides an incredible opportunity to partner with Australia’s most prominent leader in the retail landscape,” Jan Pacas, All G founder and CEO said in a statement. “Our ambition is to make great-tasting and nutritious products that meet the growing consumer demand. As we rapidly scale, it’s important for us to partner with a VC that has unparalleled access to distribution, assets and capabilities. W23 has established itself as a leading strategic VC in Australia, and we’re delighted to call them a partner.”
A legacy of future-food support
Woolworths shares All G’s positive outlook. Not one to put all of its plant-based eggs in one basket, the grocery giant has previously invested in other alternative protein companies. Last year it led the seed funding for Harvest B, a domestic B2B alternative protein producer. In addition, the chain has been actively increasing the number of plant-based ranges on offer in its stores.
Fënn Foods’ brand vEEF, announced last week new funding to grow its operation. Securing $3million, the company is looking to expand distribution channels and trial sophisticated marketing techniques. Woolworths is already a notable stockist of the brand, with similarly large domestic chains being looked at as potential future partners.
Last year, Woolworths welcomed YAY! Foods on board as a plant-based brand. Stocking marinated ‘feta’ across its New South Wales stores, the company witnessed positive consumer reception. Wider distribution throughout Australia is planned, though it is not known if Woolworths will be participating.
Lead photo of Jan Pacas, CEO & founder at All G Foods (L) with Ingrid Maes (R), managing director W23 at Woolworths Group. Photo by Woolworths.