The UK plant-based meat company seeks to expand in the domestic market, Europe, Asia and the US
Meatless Farm burger
Photo as seen on Meatless Farm’s Facebook page

Meatless Farm has raised $31 million to support international growth. The UK plant-based meat company wants to expand in the domestic market, Europe, Asia and the US as global markets emerge from the Covid-19 lockdown. The fresh capital adds to $17 million the company raised in the previous funding round.

The funds will be used to expand and further establish the brand in existing markets, access new regions, expand the product lines, and further build out the manufacturing operations in Canada.

“We are seeing strong demand for our plant-based burgers, sausages and mince across all markets and see fantastic opportunities to grow the Meatless Farm brand rapidly,” said Morten Toft Bech, founder of Meatless Farm. He argued that the uptick in demand comes as people look to eat more healthily and sustainably post Covid-19.

Toft Bech continued: “Our ambition is to continue to expand our global operations organically whilst also looking to participate in M&A activities around the consolidation of smaller plant-based companies.”

The funding round was managed by Leopoldo Zambeletti who recently joined Meatless Farm in the role of director. Zambeletti has more than 20 years of investment banking experience at firms including JP Morgan and Credit Suisse.

Zambeletti said: “This funding round gives Meatless Farm the ability to take advantage of the consumers’ desire to change lifestyles as people aim to ‘build back better’ in the wake of Covid-19.”

A mixture of existing and new private and family office investors participated in the latest capital raise, all of whom have a commitment to sustainable investing.

Zambeletti added: “Fundraising during the lockdown brought its own unique challenges, but the strength of the brand, the sustainable mission, the excellent management team and proven execution to date resonated well with existing and new investors alike.”

Booming demand

With the market for plant-based food estimated to grow by 17% to $4.2 billion in 2021, on the back of increasing awareness of the health and environmental benefits of cutting down on meat, Meatless Farm said it has “ambitious plans” to expand in all its key markets and to grow its product range.

The company has four offices worldwide – Leeds, Amsterdam, New York, and Singapore – and is set to continue its double-digit sales growth in the years to come.

This summer, Meatless Farm ran a nationwide UK advertising campaign aimed at converting meat-eaters and focusses on the more meaty taste of the new formula burgers and sausages. The campaign included traditional print advertising, branded electric cars driving through London, billboards and bus signs, and a Meatless drive-through restaurant as well as radio and TV adverts.

Started in Leeds in 2016, Meatless Farm spent over two years blending, researching, experimenting, and trialling different recipes and ingredients to create its range before launching in 2018. It is now on sale in all four major UK supermarket chains, in Whole Foods in the US, and in many other countries.

Sales are growing at nearly 180% per annum on a like for like basis in the UK and it has become a serious contender in the global plant-based market, alongside US groups Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.

Date published: 29 September 2020

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