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Sol Cuisine Inc., long-time plant-based brand headquartered in Ontario, has recently secured C$10 million (US$7.6 million) in a funding round led by BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Fund, the venture arm of Canada’s national development bank. The new capital injection will be used to help Sol Cuisine continue expanding its product innovation and distribution as consumer demand and government support for plant-based meat continues to grow.
The C$10 million (US$7.6 million) equity financing round was also supported by existing investors, including the state-owned export credit agency Export Development Canada (EDC), food-focused VC New Acres, sustainable agriculture investment firm InvestEco and Planted Power. Sol Cuisine says that it will use the new capital to continue expanding its product innovation and distribution.
“This investment combined with our talented management team and newly expanded SQF GFSI certified manufacturing facility will enable us to share Sol Cuisine’s exceptional products with more consumers,” said John Flanagan, CEO of Sol Cuisine.
Founded in 1996, Sol Cuisine represents one of Canada’s pioneering plant-based brands. Since its inception, it has expanded its product range to include plant-based burgers, meatballs, bites, sausages, fillets, roasts and appetisers, all made using non-GMO ingredients. The company’s products are currently retailed at over 4,000 locations nationwide, including at Whole Foods, Safeway, Target and Kroger.
This investment combined with our talented management team and newly expanded SQF GFSI certified manufacturing facility will enable us to share Sol Cuisine’s exceptional products with more consumers.John Flanagan, CEO of Sol Cuisine
The funding news comes as the plant-based industry experiences unprecedented growth in recent months. Consumers have been flocking to plant-based proteins as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down slaughterhouses globally and is raising the profile of food safety in addition to sustainability and health.
In Canada, the market for alternative protein is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 14% by 2024 to reach a third of the country’s entire protein market, according to recent data from the National Research Council Canada. To date, more than 40% of Canadians have adopted flexitarianism as sustainability and health become increasingly important dietary considerations.
Consumer interest in plant-based protein foods continues to increase and we believe that Sol Cuisine is well positioned for continued rapid growth.Joe Regan, Managing Partner of BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund
“Consumer interest in plant-based protein foods continues to increase and we believe that Sol Cuisine is well positioned for continued rapid growth” said Joe Regan, managing partner of BDC Capital’s Industrial Innovation Venture Fund.
Canada’s plant-based industry is also poised to flourish due to strong government support. In late June, the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will be investing C$100 million (US$74 million) into Merit Functional Foods, a homegrown company producing plant-based protein ingredients.
Much of the investment will be geared towards Merit’s new 94,000 square foot manufacturing facility, which uses Canadian-grown peas and canola seeds to create protein ingredients that can be supplied to plant-based brands to develop new vegan meat products.
Lead image courtesy of Sol Cuisine.