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The Very Good Food Company, the Canadian plant-based group that owns The Very Good Butchers, has acquired Victoria-based vegan cheese startup The Cultured Nut. It marks the company’s first foray into the plant-based dairy market to “complement” its existing product line and to tap into the rapidly growing demand for dairy-free products.
Announced last week, The Very Good Food Company has signed a letter of intent to purchase The Cultured Nut, a plant-based cheese company operating on the West Coast of Canada. The vegan dairy startup currently offers an entire range of artisan cashew-based cheeses, including block-style cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella and gouda, as well as cream cheese and plant-based butters – all of which are soy-free and gluten-free.
Since its inception in 2017, The Very Good Food Company has been selling The Cultured Nut’s products via its own e-commerce platform and retail channels, with the brand’s distribution footprint also extending to select Whole Foods stores and specialty online grocer SPUD.
The proposed acquisition of The Cultured Nut marks [our] first move into the dairy alternatives space and is the next natural step towards achieving our near-term objective of being a leader in the plant-based food technology industry.Mitchell Scott, CEO, The Very Good Food Company
Having received “overwhelmingly positive results and feedback,” The Very Good Food Company says that its decision to acquire the brand is an “an excellent complement” to its existing product line-up sold under its brand The Very Good Butchers and marks the firm’s first foray into the fast-growing vegan dairy market.
“The proposed acquisition of The Cultured Nut marks [our] first move into the dairy alternatives space and is the next natural step towards achieving our near-term objective of being a leader in the plant-based food technology industry.” said Mitchell Scott, CEO of The Very Good Food Company, which made headlines last year when it became the second plant-based firm in the world to launch an IPO.
“With a shared ethos of using only high quality whole food ingredients, The Cultured Nut is a perfect addition to our existing and growing product portfolio,” Scott added.
Founded by James Davison and Tania Friesen in 2016, the group’s core brand The Very Good Butchers opened its first permanent storefront in Victoria Public Market a year later, making them the first vegan butcher shop to launch in western Canada selling dishes made with its house-made plant-based meats such as pepperoni, burgers and sausages.
We feel that by quickly integrating The Cultured Nut into our existing processes and distribution network, these synergies will allow us to scale their operations significantly and create a key, and entirely new revenue stream for our Company.Mitchell Scott, CEO, The Very Good Food Company
It has since grown to offer a subscription vegan butcher box to customers, and is also selling its vegan meat products at retailers across Canada. In November last year, months after its parent company went public on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE), it also launched its first U.S. IPO to make its shares more accessible to American investors.
With the global plant-based cheese segment alone set to double to a US$4.5 billion market by 2025, The Very Good Food Company believes that its intended takeover is “timely” for its ambitions to become a major player in the overall plant-based industry.
“We feel that by quickly integrating The Cultured Nut into our existing processes and distribution network, these synergies will allow us to scale their operations significantly and create a key, and entirely new revenue stream for our Company,” explained Scott.
Lead image courtesy of The Cultured Nut.