Plant-based meat company Meatless Farm is offering consumers the chance to "grab a share of the M...F... pie” as it launches its first retail investor funding round with crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to fund innovation, expansion and work towards being a regenerative company.
The brand aims to raise up to £5 million offering the opportunity to buy in to the brand from £10. Investments will take the form of a convertible note which convert to shares at a discounted price during the next corporate equity funding round, expected towards the end of 2021.
Meatless Farm was launched in the UK in 2018 and offers fresh plant-based food including mince, burgers, sausages, hot dogs and sausage rolls, both for consumer and food service market. Currently, the brand operates in over 20 countries including the UK, US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. It is one of UK’s top three best known plant-based brands, alongside long-established brands like Quorn and Linda McCartney. The company recorded 148% year-on-year net sales growth in 2020.
Meatless Farm’s ambition is to build a sustainable global food system that supports and nurtures biodiversity and reduces the world’s dependency on intensively-farmed meat. The company aims to inspire “meat-lessers” to eat more plant-based by providing tasty, healthy, affordable ways to make more everyday meals meatless.
Year 2021 started with the biggest ever sales for Meatless Farm, with new partnerships with high-street outlets Pret, Leon and itsu and Nathan’s Famous in the US, the launch of a global sustainable nutrition collaboration with football club Real Madrid, a partnership with world champion cyclist Mark Cavendish and opening of new plant- protein facilities in Canada and the Netherlands.
The market for plant-based food is experiencing exponential growth fuelled by consumers who want to reduce their meat consumption. The market has doubled in the last two years in the UK and it’s estimated that the overall global plant protein market will grow by 700% by 2035, resulting in a market worth approximately $290 billion. Analysts at Barclays believe there is a bigger opportunity for plant-based protein than was projected for electric vehicles ten years ago.
Meatless Farm has previously restricted investment to larger investors, raising £38 million in the last three years from private and family office investors with a commitment to sustainable investing, including from British media company Channel 4. This latest raise will help fund ongoing innovation and expansion including work towards complete vertical integration as part of a commitment to regenerative business growth. The “farm-to-fork" program involves investment at every stage of the supply chain, from working with farmers on crop selection, yields and traceability to produce the best quality sustainable ingredients, to advancing plant- protein technology, to fast-track innovation and more environmentally efficient manufacturing.
Morten Toft Bech, Founder of Meatless Farm said: “We are reaching a tipping point where replacing meat with plant-based protein a couple of times a week is no longer niche, but we know that it’s people power which will create a full-blown revolution in food culture. That rests on driving awareness around the importance of reducing meat for the environment and the impact that even little changes can have. For example, in a country like the UK we could reduce around 8% of the UK’s total emissions if we all ate just one less meat meal per week.
“We want to help accelerate this through the retail and foodservice relationships we have, the countries we operate in and the range of products we offer. Innovation is critical to the category, with taste-, texture- and price-parity with meat the key to unlocking the full potential of the market. We are therefore investing heavily in the entire supply chain, ‘from farm to fork’, working with farmers to get the best crops, setting up state-of-the-art plant protein facilities to produce even better ingredients and recruiting top food development chefs and nutritionists to evolve and improve our products even further and come up with exciting new plant-based options such as pizza toppings, chicken, and a new range of snacks and meal solutions. All of this works against a backdrop of sustainability as we embed our commitment to regenerative business growth, work towards B- Corp status and seek to rebalance biodiversity in the global food system.
“Our consumers are central to Meatless Farm, so by opening up to individual investors at this stage we can offer the investment opportunity at a time when we have demonstrable momentum and the chance to provide funding which will help drive both Meatless Farm and the category forward, recognising that big change is only possible when we all work together.”
Meatless Farm’s UK base is in Leeds and it runs its global operations from its Amsterdam headquarters, supported by offices in New York and Singapore and employing over 100 people in total. Potential investors can register their interest at www.meatlessfarm.com/crowdcube from Monday 14 June with the investment open on www.crowdcube.com from Tuesday 22 June.