Home Business Meatless Farm: Vegan mince firm on brink of collapse

Meatless Farm: Vegan mince firm on brink of collapse

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A vegan food company has stopped trading and let its staff go after it was unable to survive in the tough meat-free market.
Meatless Farm made plant-based alternatives to meat and was stocked in major UK supermarkets, but made its 50-strong workforce redundant on Friday.
In 2021 at its peak, it sold over £11m worth of its plant-based mince, burgers and chicken breasts.
The firm's demise comes amid a wider slump in demand for meat alternatives.
Insolvency firm Kroll is now advising the firm on its options, as the company's website says it is "currently unavailable".
Commercial director Tim Offer said on his Linkedin profile: "Sadly, my time at Meatless Farm has come to an end… the business has unfortunately made all the teams redundant."
His comments were echoed by the company's interim finance executive John Loughrey who said he and other colleagues were looking for their "next assignment".
Meatless Farm sold its products in the US, China, and several European countries.
The firm was established in 2016 by Danish entrepreneur Morten Toft Bech in Leeds and reportedlyboasted cyclist Mark Cavendish MBE as an investor.
Though sales in some parts of the vegan food industry – such as plant-based milks, cheese and yoghurt – had continued to do well, demand for plant-based "meats" had slowed, according to Euromonitor industry manager and food researcher Tom Rees.
"This stagnation is coming out of the US and is having a negative effect on the global picture," he said.
The plant-based meat replacement market in the UK was a crowded one, he said, and Meatless Farm was "not a top 10 player".
The company accounted for just 1.2% share of the market in 2022, compared with bigger rival Beyond Meat, which claimed 3.3%, Mr Rees said.
In the UK, shoppers facing a cost-of-living crisis had also been put off by prices, which are typically higher than the products they are trying to replace. Buyers had also become more discerning, he added.
"We've had a real glut of products on the market with supermarkets pushing their own ranges and outstanding brands. Now consumers have decided which ones they like," Mr Rees said.
Rival plant-based firms have also been affected by the slowdown, which saw sales of meat-replacement products fall £37.3m, or 7.4%, in the year to September 2022, according to research from NielsenIQ.
Sausage producer Heck, also based in Yorkshire, recently reduced its vegan range citing lack of consumer demand.
In March industry giant Nestle said its Garden Gourmet plant-based vegan brand would no longer be sold in UK shops, less than two years after it first appeared on shelves.
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