The plant-based trend isn’t going away anytime soon as more vegan-friendly companies are raising significant capital from investors.
The LIVEKINDLY Collective, a global multi-brand plant-based food company, raised $135 million in capital in a round led by Blue Horizon Corporation. Investors included a syndicate from Asia led by Trustbridge Partners, and global investment organization EQT, along with Griffith Foods, and other existing shareholders.
The company will use the proceeds to advance its mission of making plant-based alternatives more accessible worldwide, with the bulk of the funds going to increase capacity and accelerate the 2021 launch of brands, including The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, and Oumph! nationwide in the U.S.
“We see significant investor interest increasing around our movement,” said Kees Kruythoff, CEO and chairman of LIVEKINDLY Collective. “Through our plant-based food platform we’re committed to ethically and environmentally-friendly practices in everything we do. We are also uniquely positioned to scale rapidly and transform the current global food system.”
With this additional round, the total funds raised by the company in 2020 amount to $335 million, resulting in LIVEKINDLY Collective becoming one of the highest funded plant-based food companies globally.
“Global consumer demand for plant-based meat alternatives is growing rapidly, creating a meaningful opportunity for investors, and our focus on chicken alternatives addresses a massive global need,” said David Knopf, CFO of LIVEKINDLY Collective. “Our plans to accelerate business growth not only meets the demand of consumers for healthier and more environmentally friendly products, but also creates an attractive investment opportunity behind a purpose-driven business model.”
Additionally, NR Instant Produce Pcl, a food exporter making plant-based pork flavored protein from jackfruit, raised $51.4 million in its IPO and its stock doubled in intraday trading during its Oct. 9 debut.
Only about 7% of NR Instant’s revenue comes from plant-based meat, but it expects the contribution to jump to 30% within four years. Thailand’s meatless festival and a strong drive for more vegetarian food mean it is poised to become competitive in the space, and the government aims to make Thailand a stronger international food production hub.
“Consumer focus on health is a huge megatrend right now. The growth potential is massive,” said CEO Danai Pathomvanich.
The plant-based meat market is expected to be worth $27.9 billion globally by 2025, more than double the $12.1 billion value last year, according to a MarketsandMarkets report. North America and Europe are currently the top markets, but increased demand from Asia Pacific and South American countries is expected to drive sales.
As the market grows, more companies are releasing their own plant-based products. For example, Kroger recently added over 50 new plant-based items to its Simple Truth Plant Based collection. The collection launched with more than 20 products in September 2019, featuring vegan chocolate chip cookie dough, oat milk, sour cream, deli slices, sausage, and other products.
Since then, the line has grown to meet customer demand, offering a diverse selection of vegan- and flexitarian-friendly snacks, spreads, dips, desserts, burger patties and grinds, and more. By the end of 2020, the collection will feature more than 75 products.
“We look forward to continuing to drive the growth of the plant-based category through our Simple Truth brand, which exceeded $2.5 billion in sales last year, and we anticipate increased interest in our plant-based selection in 2021 and beyond,” said Kroger’s chief merchant Stuart Aitken.