Tofu Maker Acquires Tofurky For Undisclosed Amount
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Tofurky, a leading producer of plant-based meats in the US, and its sister vegan cheese brand, Moocho, have been acquired by Morinaga Nutritional Foods, the US-based manufacturer of Mori-Nu Silken Tofu.
The terms of the acquisition, including how much Morinaga paid for the Tofurky brand were not disclosed. According to a press release announcing the news, Morinaka described Tofurky as the third largest plant-based meat retail brand in the U.S.
According to Food Dive, which quoted disclosure documents filed by Morinaga’s parent company Morinaga Milk, Tofurky’s net sales for the 2021 fiscal year were close to $42.4 million.
The two companies have a longstanding business relationship, with Morinaga supplying Tofurky with tofu for 17 years, and the consolidation will help further integrate their combined supply chain and drive growth for both brands. Tofurky says it will continue its operations at its environmentally responsible facility in Hood River, Oregon, where Morinaga plans to enhance its capacity with technical staff.
Both Tofurky and Moocho’s recipes and product offerings will remain unchanged.
“We’ve been working with the team at Morinaga for nearly two decades, and over that course of time realized the multiple synergies our organizations have across our businesses – from supply chain and operations to new product development targets,” said Jaime Athos, President and CEO of Tofurky. “We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved thus far as an independent and family-operated company, but as we enter our next stage of growth, Morinaga will provide the platform needed to help us expand more aggressively in the U.S. and beyond.”
Morinaga is a Torrance, California-based manufacturer of soy products, probiotics, and postbiotic ingredients aimed at both retail and foodservice markets. The company owns the popular silken tofu brand, Mori-Nu Silken Tofu and unlike many of their competitors, Morinaga’s soy products are shelf-stable. The company is a subsidiary of Japanese company Morinaga Milk, which trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and produces dairy beverages and infant formula across Asian markets.
“Tofurky has a proven track record of success in the U.S. and is a significant player in the plant-based category with many loyal fans,” said Hiroyuki Imanishi, President and CEO of Morinaga Nutritional Foods. “We’re excited to help bolster both Tofurky and Moocho’s presence in the U.S. while strengthening manufacturing efficiencies and boosting new product development to meet ever-increasing marketplace demand.”
Tofurky was founded in 1980 by vegetarian entrepreneur Seth Tibbott and is one of a handful of pioneering brands like Quorn and Boca Burger that began serving vegan meat replacement products to an increasingly health-conscious segment of consumers in the post-70s era. Tofurky products are non-GMO and vegan, and the company says it uses local and organic ingredients where possible. The Certified B Corp company has over 35 products that include burgers, deli slices, sausages, tempeh and its popular holiday roasts. The company’s name is inspired by turkey replacement dishe it launched in the 90s for non-meat eaters to enjoy during family Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.
In addition to its Tofurky brand, the company also owns Moocho, a line of non-GMO, gluten-free and dairy-free cheeses which are soy-free, which debuted in 2020. Moocho offers meltable shreds and cream cheese-like spreads.