Australia’s v2Food wants to expand its vegetable meat to Europe and Asia with 45 million euros

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V2Food is one of many new competitors in the alternative protein space, founded in Australia but now looking to Europe, Asia and beyond. It has some key advantages over the competition and could soon find its way into the euro zone with 45 million euros in new funding.

The company has seen strong adoption in its home market and its primary goal is to be # 1 in Australia, said CEO and Founder Nick Hazell, formerly of MasterFoods and PepsiCo R&D. But in the meantime, they are expanding their presence in Asia, where partner Burger King launched a Whopper with its patty, and in Europe, where the minimal suspicious elements of the product come into play.

V2Food currently produces vegetable minced meat and patties, sausages and a ready-made Bolognese sauce. Obviously, they have stiff competition in these categories which are some kind of opening game for most alternative protein companies. But v2Food has a head start on many of them in two ways.

A pack of ground beef from v2Food and someone to cook it in a kitchen.

Photo credits: v2Eating

First, v2Food products are or at least can be made with “any standard meat production facility”. That’s a big plus for scaling and a minus for cost since economies of scale are already in the game. The processes of making and mixing the herbal and other man-made substances that make up alternative proteins in general are not always accessible to the existing infrastructure. This also opens the door to partnerships with existing meat companies that may shy away from converting processes. (By the way, Hazell noted that it’s not so much about replacing traditional meat as it’s about taking the market in a new direction, a philosophy these companies appreciate.)

Second, as stated in the press release announcing the fundraising campaign, “v2food products do not contain any GMOs, preservatives, colorings or flavorings. This makes it an ideal product for the European market, faced with the many big competitors due to overly strict regulation. “It’s also a soft advantage to attract buyers in business who are wandering between two herbal options; who haven’t Occasionally opting for the lower-ingredient product that proudly touts the lack of preservatives and the like? The demographics that buy alternative proteins are likely to be particularly sensitive to this consideration.

The € 45 million round is a “B Plus” led by the European impact fund Astanor, which includes the Huaxing Growth Capitol Fund, Main Sequence and ABC World Asia. The money goes into research and development as well as into scaling.

“This funding is an important step towards v2food’s goal of changing the way the world produces food,” said Hazell. “It is imperative that we scale quickly as these global problems require immediate solutions.”

To that end, much of it goes to simply creating enough products to meet demand. You’re also doubling research and development spending to both accelerate new products and improve existing ones. And instead of importing the necessary ingredients to Australia, they are looking into the possibility of setting up a local production facility there. With luck and a little vegetable elbow grease, the region could become a net exporter, prop up the local economy, make v2Food more resilient and cut costs.

The expansion in Europe is still a wink in the eyes of the company (and Astanors) because despite its simplicity and GMO-free origins, bringing a new product to the European market is not trivial.

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