Monday, February 26, 2024

Local plant-based foods to expand

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PLANT-BASED protein company Sustainable Foods (SFL) is part way through a $2 million fundraising to build its range of products with capital development and employ more staff members…
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PLANT-BASED protein company Sustainable Foods (SFL) is part way through a $2 million fundraising to build its range of products with capital development and employ more staff members.

Plant-based protein company Sustainable Foods (SFL) is part way through a $2 million fundraising to build its range of products with capital development and employ more staff members.

The four-year-old Kapiti Coast-based company already has retail and wholesale products in supermarkets, specialty stores and quick-service restaurants.

The retail range is branded plan*t, a clever word play on both plant and planet to emphasise its sustainability claims.

The products include red meat alternatives of mince, burgers and sausages and new white meat alternatives named chick*n.

Currently made from imported soy and pea protein substrates, SFL wants to source in New Zealand and move into deli-style meat alternatives, cheese and dairy alternatives and dry snacks.

The white meat alternatives have been developed in association with the Riddet Institute at Massey University, SFL and Greenfern Industries of Hawera, which has supplied hemp protein.

The use of hemp as a unique ingredient is a world first, SFL said.

Revenue was $600,000 in FY21 and projected to be $1.7 million in FY22 and $20m in FY25.

Co-founder and chief executive Justin Lemmens has 20 years’ experience in ready-meals with his wholly owned company Rosa Foods, sharing premises with SFL.

New investors will have up to $23.4% of shares in SFL if $2m in $1 shares is raised and Lemmens will retain 58%.

The company would be valued around $8.5m, compared with $6.2m currently.

Co-founder Kyran Rei, who would have around 5% shareholding, has worked for Rosa Foods for 10 years.

Sustainable Foods already has competition for supermarket shelves in NZ, mainly from international companies like Beyond Meat, Alternative Meat Co and Impossible Foods.

Locally-made competitors include Vege Delights, Bean Supreme, tōnzu, Let’s Eat, Sunfed and Food Nation.

SFL claims its products are both well-priced in the low to medium price range and are higher quality than those of competitors.

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