Expanding its plant-based food empire, York-based VFC Foods has acquired Leeds-headquartered Meatless Farm in a strategic move. The acquisition comes as a rescue for Meatless Farm, which was facing financial difficulties.
VFC, known for its vegan fried chicken products, will retain the Meatless Farm brand and its annual sales of £12 million. The deal aims to diversify VFC's existing vegan chicken offerings while marking a significant milestone in the company’s growth strategy.
"The acquisition of Meatless Farm aligns perfectly with our mission to remove animals from the food chain," said David Sparrow, CEO of VFC. "Their brand has built strong consumer awareness and offers a range of exciting products that complement ours."
Strengthening Core Values and Expanding Consumer Choice
Adam Lyons, Co-Founder of VFC, highlighted that the acquisition is a testament to Meatless Farm's team, lauding their exceptional development and establishment of quality plant-based products. "The integration of both brands enables us to capitalize on synergies with valued customers and suppliers, fostering innovation and broadening customer choice," Lyons said.
Positive Trends in the Plant-Based Sector
The deal is backed by VFC's cash reserves and comes as the plant-based market experiences growth not only in the UK but also across the European Union. With consumer demand for vegan alternatives to meat and dairy on the rise, VFC is well-positioned to sustainably grow the Meatless Farm brand. Matthew Glover, Co-Founder of VFC and Veganuary, commented, "Reducing meat consumption is critical for a healthier, more sustainable future. At VFC, we’re committed to developing tasty vegan alternatives that eliminate the need for animal-based foods."
VFC's Journey: A Success Story in the Making
Founded in December 2020, VFC secured its first significant retail listing with Tesco in 2021. The company has reported significant growth and expanded distribution channels, including listings in Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, and Waitrose. Its vegan chicken alternative has also made it to the menu of 600 Marston’s Community Pubs across the UK.
In the international market, VFC is making waves. The brand was voted as the Best New Vegan Chicken Product in the USA and has also launched in other countries like The Netherlands and Spain.
As part of its growth strategy, VFC plans to continue expanding its portfolio. The acquisition of Meatless Farm is considered a step in that direction, and the company is set to pursue further partnerships and acquisitions to stay ahead in the increasingly competitive plant-based food market. VFC is making a strong case for itself as a leader in the sector, setting a precedent for other companies aiming to provide more sustainable and ethical food choices for consumers.