Alpha Foods: Frozen Vegan Meat Startup Acquired by LIVEKINDLY Collective

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The LIVEKINDLY Collective (LKC) has acquired Californian plant-based meat startup Alpha Foods, which becomes the sixth food brand under the former’s portfolio. Founded in 2015, Alpha’s lineup includes frozen burritos, burgers, nuggets and tamales, with a nationwide presence in over 11,000 retail stores.

The strategic acquisition allows the LIVEKINDLY Collective to enter the ready-to-eat breakfast and burrito snacking categories, and consolidate its position in the saturated plant-based food market. Alpha Foods will benefit from the LIVEKINDLY Collective’s vast distribution network – which boasts over 200,000 centres across more than 40 countries – and the deal will help both expand their reach in the US.

The LIVEKINDLY Collective – which also owns Fry’s, Oumph!, LikeMeat, No Meat, and Dutch Weed Burger – aims to ensure a reliable supply chain and pricing structure comparable to Alpha’s animal-based counterparts.

“Joining LKC will enable Alpha to grow sustainably while propelling innovation in a category that’s often accused of creating a plethora of plant-based versions of ubiquitous products like patties and nuggets,” says Loren Wallis, co-founder and chief innovation officer of Alpha Foods.

Alpha’s sustainability credentials

Soy protein concentrate is one of Alpha Foods’ main ingredients. Soy’s over-cultivation has contributed to deforestation and forest fires in the Amazon.

Speaking to Green Queen Media in 2019, Alpha’s co-founder Cole Orobetz tackled the issue: “When we were sourcing soy, we made sure to use non-GMO soy, having in our minds the practices that come with GMO soybeans. And the more we realised how educated the consumer base is – people were learning a lot about soy production – we have been proud to say that all our soybeans are ethically sourced from the US where there is no deforestation to be concerned of.”

He added: “We have made changes before upon learning new information. For example, we were previously using palm oil in our first pot pies. But when more news and reports came out about the ethical conflicts involved in palm oil production, we removed it from our ingredient list. Every single day, we really try to push to be as sustainable as possible.”

Alpha Foods will benefit from the LIVEKINDLY Collective’s vast distribution network | Courtesy: Alpha Foods

New products and collaborations in the pipeline

The LIVEKINDLY Collective says that the acquisition complements its portfolio, and the companies have a shared vision. “We will first focus on integrating Alpha’s assets into the structure of LKC. LKC is a truly global organisation backed by shared functions such as R&D, operations and others,” Shaun Richardson, the LIVEKINDLY Collective’s US general manager, told Green Queen Media. “The primary focus this will be to make sure Alpha fits into this structure to unlock efficiencies and opportunities for the brand in the US and beyond.”

The deal holds promising potential for new product development. “Our global infrastructure, allowing for better distribution, R&D pliancy and innovation, will open up opportunities in the market and beyond,” Richardson said in a statement.

Speaking to Green Queen Media, he added: “We have an exciting innovation pipeline and unprecedented food tech knowledge in-house, which we will make sure Alpha will benefit from.”

Alpha Foods has existing collaborations with fellow Californian startups Just Egg and The Every Co, the Anne Hathaway-backed precision fermentation producer. Alpha incorporates the former’s vegan liquid egg and the latter’s egg white protein to elevate its offerings as part of its product renovation plans. The brand recently also announced the integration of high-moisture extrusion technology to create enhanced protein formulations.

With the LIVEKINDLY Collective’s acquisition of Alpha, could we see a collaboration between its other brands and the likes of Just Egg and The Every Co? “We are open for any opportunities that will get us in front of consumers,” said Richardson, before adding: “The plans are currently being developed.”

With the uncertainty in the plant-based category – Meatless Farm was bailed out by UK vegan brand VFC in June – and deals like Morinaga Natural Foods acquiring industry giant Tofurky, consolidation in this sector is expected. And with this deal, LIVEKINDLY calls itself the plant-based sector’s leading consolidator.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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