The LIVEKINDLY Collective’s brand portfolio just got bigger. The collection of plant-based heritage and startup companies has acquired Iceland Foods’ vegan meat brand, No Meat.
Iceland Foods is a British supermarket chain that specializes in frozen foods. It launched the No Meat range in 2018 with the release of its now award-winning No Bull burger.
Iceland Foods has since expanded its vegan range with a number of plant-based meat products. These include mince and meatballs, porkless sausages and burgers, chicken fillets and strips, pizzas, and more. The vegan range is currently available in Iceland, as well as in the UK at Asda and Ocado.
According to the supermarket chain’s trading director Andrew Staniland, No Meat is the “world’s largest frozen vegan range.”
In a press release, Domenico Speciale, general manager for the LIVEKINDLY Collective in the UK, said the expansion is “further strengthening [the LIVEKINDLY Collective’s] position in the frozen sector of the fast-growing plant-based meat category.”
“This acquisition is a big step in delivering our mission of making plant-based food the new norm,” Speciale added.
Transforming the Plant-Based Food Space
According to SPINS retail sales data, the plant-based food sector is booming. Data released in March 2020 shows grocery sales of plant-based foods have increased by 29 percent in the past two years to $5 billion.
The plant-based meal category is also burgeoning. Dollar sales of frozen and shelf-stable vegan meals grew by eight percent in 2020 and by 25 percent over the past two years. The plant-based meal category is worth $377 million and expected to grow.
And with an expansive portfolio—which includes The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, Oumph!, and LIVEKINDLY—the LIVEKINDLY Collective is positioning itself as a global leader in the growing plant-based food space. In a statement, Kees Kruythoff, the LIVEKINDLY Collective’s CEO and chairman, said the acquisition aligns with the Collective’s “strategy to scale rapidly and transform the current global food system.”
“Bringing No Meat into the LIVEKINDLY Collective family as a mission-aligned partner was a natural next step for us,” Kruythoff continued. “Its strategy to meet the demand of consumers for healthier and more environmentally friendly vegan products mirrors our own commitment to protect the planet.”
Meeting the Growing Demand for Plant-Based Foods
The latest acquisition coincides with Veganuary—which is sponsored this year by two of the Collective’s brands: Fry’s and Oumph!. The movement challenges meat-eaters to go plant-based for a month.
Interest in veganism has certainly been growing. Since 2014, Veganuary has helped more than one million people in 192 countries to try eating plant-based during the month of January. Last year, 400,000 people signed up to go vegan. This was a major increase from the previous year, which saw 250,000 sign-ups. And in 2018, there were 170,000 Veganuary participants. This month, the campaign hit a record-breaking 500,000 sign-ups.
The LIVEKINDLY Collective’s expanding portfolio aims to meet this growing demand for plant-based foods.
According to the Collective, the addition of No Meat is the first plant-based acquisition to include a supermarket distribution network via Iceland Foods. The deal will not only expand Iceland Foods’ product offerings in the UK but also give consumers around the world access to the Collective’s expansive collection of plant-based food brands.
“Our offer within the UK’s fastest-growing food market will be further strengthened when we begin to sell LIVEKINDLY Collective’s existing brands—Oumph!, LikeMeat, and Fry’s Family Food Co.—in Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores across the UK and Ireland from April 2021,” explained Staniland.