Meat free manufacturer sees its revenues soar

Malton-based food manufacturer, The Tofoo Co, saw its turnover in January 2020 exceed £1m.

This is more than double its turnover in January 2019. It also surpasses the turnover generated by the business in the whole of 2016.

David Knibbs, founder and managing director of the company, said: “Trends suggest tofu is now being considered as a stand-alone ‘real food’ ingredient, not a fake-meat alternative.

“A great example of the growing importance of tofu to the overall meat-free category is the top two selling products in the meat-free market in January were both tofu products.

“The Tofoo Co is now the category’s number one tofu brand, currently worth £10.6m and growing at 67%. We’re also the fourth largest brand overall in the meat-free category.

“Our growth is being primarily driven by our best-selling ‘Naked’ product which has seen sales per point of distribution grow by 50% – and secondly by our new product launches bringing in new users to the brand.

“We recognise that to expand our consumer base we must continually innovate and bring regular new product development to the market, while remembering that the core product has a lot of room for growth.”

In January alone, the business launched three more products and it has a number of new launches planned for 2020. Knibbs continued: “Our aim is not to mimic or replace meat – tofu is a valuable addition to meal times and to a multitude of diets, not just those who follow meat-free or vegan lifestyles.

“Eastern diets have contained less meat for thousands of years and tofu has long held an important place in those diets. This is now being seen in modern UK diets.

“We strongly believe that the growth and dominance of The Tofoo Co in the tofu market is testament to the superior product which has better taste and texture due to the traditional Japanese recipe using Nigari. Each product is hand-made in small batches and we produce every single pack in Yorkshire.”

The Tofoo Co is run by Knibbs and his wife Lydia Smith. It started as a small, family-run business four years ago. Since then it has grown to over 70 employees. Its food is now sold in major supermarkets including Waitrose, Sainsburys, Tesco and Co-op.