VFC Bails Out Fellow U.K. Vegan Meat Brand Meatless Farm: ‘We Are Delighted’
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In a major development for the failing plant-based meat company Meatless Farm, U.K.-based VFC Foods has announced the purchase of the other Yorkshire-based plant-based company, in a deal worth £12 million in sales.
The Meatless Farm acquisition expand the vegan offerings of VFC, the vegan chicken brand launched by Veganuary’s co-founder, Matthew Glover and entrepreneur Adam Lyons.
According to VFC, the Meatless Farm brand will remain intact, and its product range will enrich VFC Foods’ existing lineup of plant-based chicken products.
VFC says the strategic purchase represents a vital step in its expansion plans, further solidifying its mission to provide an increased array of vegan options in retail and food service industries, with the ultimate goal of eliminating animals from the food system.
Since its inception during the pandemic and securing its first significant listing in Tesco in 2021, VFC Foods has consistently grown its presence with its successful vegan chicken alternative. Meatless Farm marks its first acquisition.
“We are delighted to announce this strategic acquisition, whilst being extremely mindful of the business’ challenges and the impact on the people involved,” David Sparrow, CEO of VFC Foods, said in a statement. “Meatless Farm has built strong consumer awareness, which aligns with our core values, and their exciting product portfolio enhances our existing range. By integrating both brands, we can utilize numerous synergies with valued customers and suppliers, thus driving innovation and extending customer choice.”
Expanding the plant-based meat market
The acquisition comes following the June 12th announcement from Meatless Farm that it had laid off most of its team after failing secure additional funding. An industry source told AgFunder News that the investor they thought was going to make “a multi-million dollar investment” backed out and the company ran out of time to get the capital needed.
Lyons says the acquisition is “a testament” to the work of the Meatless Farm team. He commended the company for doing “an exceptional job in developing and establishing quality products.”
The announcement comes as the plant-based industry is seeing rapid expansion in both the U.K. and the E.U., with sales of plant-based milk, meat, and cheese outstripping their animal-based counterparts. “Reducing our meat consumption is crucial for a healthier, more sustainable future,” Glover said.
“VFC Foods is well positioned to sustainably grow the Meatless Farm brand once the cost-of-living crisis eases, and the plant-based space has experienced further consolidation,” he said.