Unilever is buying the meat-substitute company The Vegetarian Butcher, a Netherlands-based maker of meat substitutes distributed in 17 countries. As it appears that the growing number of consumers turning their backs on meat.
Since 2016, Unilever and The Vegetarian Butcher have worked together on a small range of products. The acquisition was made for an undisclosed amount of money and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
According to a statement by the company, this acquisition fits with the Englewood-based company’s strategic expansion of environmentally friendly plant-based foods. Unilever’s Nitin Paranjpe said it had been attracted to the brand’s “clear mission” and strong position in a booming market for meat alternatives.
Paranjpe said, “The brand will fit in well within our portfolio of ‘brands with purpose’ which have a positive social impact [and] are better positioned to meet the needs of consumers.” Last year Unilever, which also owns PG Tips and Liptons, bought Bristol-based ethical tea brand Pukka Herbs.
Korteweg’s family had started The Vegetarian Butcher in 2007 and has spent the past decade developing new products in keeping with what he sees as a “big transition from animal to vegetable meat”.
Giving a statement about the acquisition Korteweg said, “We want to conquer the world. It is our mission to make plant-based meat the standard. This acquisition will help to accelerate our mission.”
Unilever has been working with The Vegetarian Butcher for the past two years but, with a presence in 190 countries, the acquisition will offer the potential to dramatically increase the brand’s distribution beyond its current 4,000 outlets in 17 countries.