The LIVEKINDLY co. announced today the acquisition of Swedish plant-based meat company Oumph!. The award-winning brand produces a wide range of products, including soy-based burgers, strips, fillets, and pulled meat.
Oumph! joins the LIVEKINDLY co.’s nascent collective of heritage and startup brands, including South Africa’s The Fry Family Food Co. and Germany’s LikeMeat (LIVEKINDLY is also owned by the LIVEKINDLY co.).
“The LIVEKINDLY co. is leading a movement to build a more sustainable future through our portfolio of brands—who are all creating delicious healthy plant-based food—and our ecosystem of mission-aligned partners,” Kees Kruythoff, CEO and Chairman of the LIVEKINDLY co., said in a statement.
“Bringing Oumph! into the LIVEKINDLY co. family was a natural next step for us,” he continued. “Their commitment to plant-based food quality and protecting the planet mirrors our own as we accelerate our mission to make plant-based eating the new normal.”
Plant-Based Is Here to Stay
The global animal agriculture industry is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. But, a shift toward a plant-based food system could reduce emissions by as much as 9.6 billion tons.
Recent Nielsen data indicates that U.S. plant-based meat sales jumped 279.8 percent as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Market research from the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit that promotes plant-based and cultured foods, indicates that meat alternatives have staying power: dollar sales of plant-based meat grew 38 percent to $939 million between 2017 and 2019. The organization predicts that sales will reach $1 billion by the end of the year.
This isn’t exclusive to the U.S.; a new survey found that nearly eight million people in the U.K. report eating more vegan food since the start of the pandemic. The nation also led the world in new plant-based product launches last year, according to Mintel data. Sustainability and concerns over meat’s negative impact on health are driving consumer interest. Globally, the plant-based food market is expected to reach $120 billion by 2025, according to global consulting firm AT Kearney.
Oumph!’s Vegan Meat
Oumph! launched in Swedish retailers in 2015 in a bid to drive consumers to make more sustainable food choices. But they also needed to taste good. Oumph! has delivered on both fronts. After launching in popular U.K. restaurant chain Bella Italia, the Oumph! Burger now makes up more than 25 percent of total burger sales, attracting meat-eaters and vegans alike. Its meat alternatives are high in plant-based protein and fiber and are a source of iron and folic acid. In 2018, its soy-based kebabs won Best Food Product of the Year at Food Matters Live. The annual event addresses the relationship between food, health, and nutrition.
“Since co-founding Oumph! five years ago, it’s been an amazing journey to-date and I’m incredibly proud of the work our team has done in creating exceptionally tasty plant-based food,” said Anders Wallerman, co-founder of Oumph!.
Oumph! is now available in supermarkets across Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and in the U.K., where it saw a 400 percent sales increase last year. Additionally, Oumph! saw a 40 percent increase in sales across all markets in the first quarter 2020. The company plans to launch in Germany later this year.
“Our mission from day one has been to get more people eating plant-based food, which is a healthier, more sustainable way forward for the environment,” Wallerman said. “I look forward to working with the LIVEKINDLY co. to introduce new, and existing products to more people around the world.”
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