Unilever, has acquired Dutch brand, The Vegetarian Butcher in a bid to expand its vegan product portfolio.
The vegan meat brand was started by ex-cattle farmer Jaap Korteweg, after he saw the destruction caused by BSE and swine flu, prompting him to become vegetarian. He will stay involved with the brand and the production of its meat alternatives. The Vegetarian Butcher has distributors in 17 countries, such as the UK, France and Greece.
The brand’s ‘clear mission’ and Unilever’s desire to expand the meat alternatives they offer to consumers sparked the corporation’s interest in purchasing the brand.
The acquisition allows The Vegetarian Butcher to expand and continue growing and expand their product range, which currently includes meat-free chicken-style pieces, vegan bratwurst and more.
Speaking about the purchase, Korteweg commented: “We want to conquer the world. It is our mission to make plant-based meat alternatives the standard. This acquisition will help to accelerate our mission.”
Nitin Paranjpe, from Unilever, commented: “The brand will fit well within our portfolio of ‘brands with purpose’ which have a positive social impact and are better positioned to meet the needs of consumers.”
The meat alternatives market is expected to be worth more than $6.5 billion, according to a report from Coherent Market Insights, and 52 per cent of Brits are eating more vegan food.