United Kingdom

Leeds-based Meatless Farm launches £5m crowdfunding

Meatless Farm, a plant-based burger and sausage company based in Leeds, has given its customers a chance to invest in the company as it launches a £5million crowdfunding campaign. 

Individual investors can start with buying just £10 into the company, which already sells its meatless products in most major supermarkets including Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury's and Ocado.    

It comes as demand for meat alternatives is growing across the world, with Meatless Farm seeing sales rise 150 per cent in 2020 and expecting revenues of up to £30million this year.

'We're reaching a tipping point': Meatless Farm's founder Morten Toft Bech said that eating meatless meals a couple of times a week is no longer niche

'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,' said Meatless Farm's founder Morten Toft Bech. 

Meatless Farm claims it's not 'anti-meat or pro-vegan', but it aims to provide 'tasty, healthy and affordable' meatless meals 'to build a sustainable global food system'.

Toft Bech said that in the UK, we could reduce around 8 per cent of the country's total emissions if we all ate just one less meat meal per week.

Demand for plant-based meat is growing across the globe, with the global market for these products forecast to be worth $8.3billion (£5.9billion) by 2025, according to recent research by Markets and Markets.

A spokesman for Meatless Farm said: 'The market for plant-based food is experiencing exponential growth fuelled by growing consumer appetite for alternatives amid increasing awareness of the health and environmental benefits of eating less meat.'

Some 54 per cent of consumers said they want to reduce their meat consumption and 92 per cent of plant-based meals in the UK are consumed by 'flexitarians' - semi-vegetarians who do not eat meat often - the spokesman added. 

A meat-free burger from the Meatless Farm's pop-up Drive Thru in East London last year

Meatless Farm, which is still loss-making, has previously restricted investment only to large investors, raising £38million in the last three years from private and family offices.  

But for the first time, it is opening up the fundraising to retail investors too through the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

Investors can register their interest on the company's website, with the investment set to open from Tuesday 22 June.   

Meatless Farm was founded in 2016 by Toft Bech, and launched in the UK in 2018. It now operates in more than 20 countries, including the US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

It sells a range of meatless products, such as burgers, hot dogs, mince and sausages, made of pea protein and other plant-based ingredients - but not soy.     

Last year, it opened its first pop-up Drive Thru in Hackney, east London, for three days. 

Toft Bech said they were investing heavily in the entire supply chain, 'from farm to fork', to improve their products and create new ones, including pizza toppings, chicken, and a new range of snacks. 

It comes as investors are eager to cash in on the growing trend for plant-based foods.

Oat milk maker Oatly listed on the US stock market last month, with shares soaring 30 per cent on its debut.  

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