Meatless Farm cooks up a storm with investors

Consumers and investors have put their money where their mouth is by committing over £2.3 million so far to plant-based brand Meatless Farm in the company’s crowdfunding debut – smashing the initial target for the campaign and already placing it into the top 6% of largest raises ever seen on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

The target was hit just six hours after the campaign opened to the public after a week-long private launch phase. Over 2000 investors have signed up to the investment so far and an extended campaign with increased funding has been confirmed to accommodate the extra demand.

Meatless Farm is offering consumers and investors the opportunity to buy in to the booming plant-based category from £10. The investment takes the form of a convertible note which will convert to shares at a discounted price during the next corporate equity funding round, expected by Q4 this year or Q1 next year.

It’s the debut retail investor funding round for the plant-based food brand and follows £38m of funding in the last three years from private and family office investors with a commitment to sustainable investing, including Channel 4’s Commercial Growth Fund. The latest funds will be used for ongoing innovation and expansion including investment into full vertical integration in the supply chain and work towards being a regenerative business.

Morten Toft Bech, founder of Meatless Farm said: “It’s our consumers who are central to Meatless Farm and its success to date so it’s great to see so many value the importance and opportunity for plant-based food and join us as investors too. We’ve achieved a lot over the last three years but we know that really big change is only possible when we all work together. This funding will help drive both Meatless Farm and the category forward, all of which helps advance progress towards our ambition of a truly sustainable global food system that is good for the planet as well as people.”

Cyclist Mark Cavendish MBE, the greatest sprinter in the history of the Tour de France, was one of the first to invest with Meatless Farm. Cavendish has been working closely with the brand throughout this year and credits an increase in plant-based food, as part of a new flexitarian diet, with helping to fuel his intense training and racing programme. He said: “We all need to be doing our bit to help the environment and reducing how much meat we eat is a key part of that. It’s great to find a way to do this without having to compromise on nutrition or taste. I genuinely believe that eating in this way is the future for us all which is why I was so keen to invest in Meatless Farm when given the opportunity.”

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: 54% of consumers say they want to reduce their meat consumption and 92% of plant-based meals in the UK are consumed by “flexitarians”.

The market has doubled in the last two years in the UK and it’s estimated that the overall global plant protein market will grow by 700% by 2035, resulting in a market worth approximately $290 billion. Analysts at Barclays believe there is a bigger opportunity for plant-based protein than was projected for electric vehicles ten years ago.

Meatless Farm was launched in the UK in 2018 with its UK base in Leeds and now operates in over 20 countries including the US, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. It has become one of UK’s top three best known plant-based brands and recorded 148% year-on-year net sales growth in 2020, out-performing a fast-growing category.

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