LIVEKINDLY Collective plots growth course after No Meat acquisition: ‘Europe and US will be part of our roll-out strategy’

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

No Meat offers a wide range of frozen vegan products / PIC: LIVEKINDLY Collective
No Meat offers a wide range of frozen vegan products / PIC: LIVEKINDLY Collective

Related tags: LIVEKINDLY Collective, vegan, Iceland foods, M&A

LIVEKINDLY Collective, which owns a growing stable of vegan brands, has acquired the No Meat business from UK retailer Iceland Foods. We caught up with the group’s management to learn more about its growth ambitions.

Founded by the Blue Horizon Group, LIVEKINDLY Collective aims to ‘make the global food system more sustainable' through the promotion of plant-based products. 

As a collective of international entrepreneurs and business leaders, the company believes it is ‘uniquely positioned’ to create ‘impact with speed, at scale’.

Under the leadership of global food industry executives, LIVEKINDLY Collective is working to build a ‘robust ecosystem’ of founder-led plant-based brands that include the Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, Oumph! and, now, No Meat.

“Bringing No Meat into the LIVEKINDLY Collective family as a mission aligned partner was a natural next step for us. Its strategy to meet the demand of consumers for healthier and more environmentally friendly vegan products mirrors our own commitment to protect the planet. It is aligned with our strategy to scale rapidly and transform the current global food system,”​ Kees Kruythoff, CEO and Chairman of LIVEKINDLY Collective, commented.

The No Meat brand was developed by UK frozen food retailer, Iceland Foods. Its product line up includes No Bill burger; No Bull mince and ‘meat’ balls; Po Porkies sausages and burgers; No Chick fillets and strips; No Duck spring rolls; No Lamb koftas; No Fish fingers; No Cheese pizzas, pasties and macaroni cheese; and No Moo dairy-free chocolate puddings and strawberry cones.

“This acquisition is very complementary to our current portfolio further strengthening our position in the frozen sector of the fast-growing plant-based meat category,”​ said Domenico Speciale, General Manager for LIVEKINDLY Collective in the UK. "No Meat has been such an incredible success with its award winning, great value and great tasting products. This acquisition is a big step in delivering our mission of making plant-based food the new norm."

Kruythoff told FoodNavigator that the acquisition – the financial details of which were not disclosed – will boost LIVEKINDLY Collective’s capabilities in the frozen aisle. "With Fry’s Family Food Co. and Oumph! we have already built Frozen Category and R&D expertise. This will now be strengthened with No Meat’s expertise.”

Indeed, Speciale noted, R&D has been at the heart of No Meat’s success under Iceland’s ownership to date. "Iceland Foods has done an amazing job in building the No Meat brand over the last few years. The team has been brilliant in their approach by continually developing new products and rotating the range to bring excitement to the category."

Moreover, Speciale continued, No Meat’s value proposition also aligns with LIVEKINDLY Collective’s ambition to make animal-free alternatives more accessible. "Great quality at an affordable price is a main focus for LIVEKINDLY Collective and with the acquisition of the No Meat brand we are indeed now able to bring an even wider range of great tasting plant based food to answer more consumer needs and further encourage a shift in consumers towards plant based eating,”​ ​we were told.

Growth plans: ‘Europe and US will be part of our roll-out strategy’

LIVEKINDLY Collective hopes to step up growth of the No Meat brand. The company plans to gain new customers as well as entering new channels and expanding in international markets.

“Expansion to other customers and channels is part of our growth strategy,”​ Speciale confirmed. "Selected products from the range are already sold through Ocado and Asda in the UK, which is testament to the strength of the brand and its product portfolio.”

Kruythoff added: “Europe and US will be part of our roll-out strategy.”

The deal will also strengthen LIVEKINDLY Collective’s relationship with Iceland Foods, which will stock the vegan umbrella company’s other brands.

Andrew Staniland, Trading Director of Frozen at Iceland Foods, elaborated that the partnership would ‘both bring the No Meat brand to new consumers globally and significantly expand Iceland Foods’ plant-based product offering in the UK’.

“Our offer within the UK’s fastest-growing food market will be further strengthened when we begin to sell LIVEKINDLY Collective’s existing brands – Oumph!, LikeMeat and Fry’s Family Food Co. - in Iceland and The Food Warehouse stores across the UK and Ireland from April 2021.”

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