In a significant move, vegan food company VFC has today acquired the Meatless Farm brand in a deal worth £12m in sales – rescuing the fellow Yorkshire plant-based brand from administration.
The Meatless Farm brand name will be retained, with the product range diversifying VFC Foods’ existing plant-based chick*n portfolio.
The acquisition of Meatless Farm marks a crucial milestone in VFC’s growth strategy and its mission to provide more vegan products across retail and foodservice, with the aim to remove animals from the food chain.
Speaking on the acquisition, which was financed from the company’s cash reserves, David Sparrow, CEO of VFC Foods, said: “We are delighted to announce this strategic acquisition, whilst being extremely mindful of the business’ challenges and the impact on the people involved.
“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 utilise numerous synergies with valued customers and suppliers, thus driving innovation and extending customer choice.”
Co-Founder, Adam Lyons, added: “Acquiring this remarkable brand is a testament to the hard work of the Meatless Farm team, who have done an exceptional job in developing and establishing quality products. Meatless Farm aligns seamlessly with our growth strategy, and we are confident in the underlying consumer demand for plant-based products.”
The plant-based market continues to experience growth across the UK and EU, with unit sales growth of plant-based milk, meat and cheese surpassing those of their animal-based equivalents.* Commenting on the acquisition and the future of the plant-based category, Matthew Glover, Co-Founder of both VFC, Veg Capital and Veganuary, stated: “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.”
“Reducing our meat consumption is crucial for a healthier, more sustainable future and, at VFC Foods, we will continue developing vegan alternatives which taste so good, they render the need to kill animals obsolete.”
*GFI EUROPE / Europe: Plant-Based Foods Retail Market Report (2020-2022)