VFC Expands Its Vegan Chicken Portfolio With Chilled Food Launch
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U.K.-based plant-based food innovator, VFC, is broadening its portfolio beyond the supermarket frozen section with its first-ever plunge into the chilled food sector.
VFC’s new foray will be led by two novel products: a chilled interpretation of its beloved VFC Original Crispy Chickn Fillets, and a brand new entry, Piri Piri Chickn Wings, complete with a separate dipping sauce. The products are currently available at Asda supermarkets.
This chilled food venture marks the beginning of an anticipated slew of new products targeting what the company hopes to be new customer segments. Strategically innovating within closely related categories is a significant part of VFC’s international expansion plan and its commitment to excluding animals from food production.
This launch comes in the wake of a dynamic year for VFC, which has included a £6M investment, extensive frozen food development, and broadening distribution through key U.K. and international retailers as well as foodservice outlets like Marston’s Community Pubs. Recently, VFC made a move into diversifying its existing plant-based chicken range across multiple channels by acquiring the Meatless Farm brand in a £12m sales deal.
‘Another major milestone’
“This is yet another major milestone for VFC and our unrelenting mission to convert more people into the incredible taste of VFC and spare the lives of more animals,” VFC CEO, Dave Sparrow, said in a statement.
Sparrow says the chilled meat-free category is worth £275M and reaches a different consumer than those shopping the frozen section, making this launch “a natural next step” in what VFC hopes will be a game-changing series of innovations.
VFC co-founder Matthew Glover launched the popular U.K. Veganuary campaign in 2014 that has since grown into a global movement. “We’re activists first and food producers second,” Glover told Green Queen in 2021. “‘Plant-based’ doesn’t cover how we feel or what we want to achieve as a company.”
The company has since carved out a niche in the overcrowded vegan chicken sector, going toe-to-toe with industry heavyweights including Quorn and Gardein, as well as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, both of which now offer chicken products.
Last month, VFC announced the acquisition of floundering U.K.-based vegan meat company Meatless Farm. VFC says Meatless Farm will remain intact and its product range will enrich VFC Foods’ current product offerings.