The meatless meat industry is becoming a household name to many and is expanding vastly. Veganism and vegetarianism have been on the rise for several years, particularly in the year 2020, with a 40% increase in veganism from 2019. And, if the response to Veganuary this year, 2021, is any indication, the movement for change to culinary, social, and agricultural norms is continuing to grow. With more than 440,000 Brits signing up for Veganuary this year.
To adhere to this movement and adapt to societal change, businesses and entrepreneurs are ensuring that plant-based options are available in their field of work, as well as boosting product sustainability. Such as; vegan options on restaurant menus, using eco-friendly cutlery and disposable products and packaging.
As well as current businesses adapting to these new standards, there has also been an influx of new plant-based driven businesses and the industry is booming, with the global ‘plant-based meat market’ set to value at $31 billion in the next 5 years.
An example of a company that has taken this industry by storm is the meatless meat company - Meatless farm.
Who is Meatless Farm?
Meatless Farm is a British owned company, founded in 2016 by Morten Toft Bech that has developed a range of meatless mince, sausage and burger patties, loaded with taste and the texture of real meat. He and his family were eager to limit their meat consumption after growing concerned about animal welfare, health, and the environment, but found that plant-based businesses available at the time lacked taste and inventiveness. He wanted to use this gap in the market to create a meatless meat product that would encourage other British households to decrease their meat consumption, but not feel restricted in their food choices - leading to the creation of Meatless Farm.
Since its entrance into the market, Meatless Farm has grown in popularity and is now available in most well-known supermarkets, operating in over 20 countries - quickly becoming a household name.
You can also find their products stocked in Pret-a-Manger, Leon & Itsu cafes, which has helped a great deal in expanding their customer base - very fancy!
As well as being able to find their products in stores and cafes, they have created a well known, affordable eCommerce website where you can shop bundles online. Including; Pizza night bundles and 4 size ranges of mince bundles.
All ranging from £8-£30 including delivery.
Meatless Farm has grown fast and effectively since hitting the market in 2018, with revenue projections of £30 million this year. Recording a 148% growth in year-on-year sales in 2020, Meatless Farm is now recognised as one of the top 3 best known plant-based brands in the U.K, alongside top competitors; Quorn & Linda Mccartney.
But why is this?
As the meatless meat industry is booming, and other companies are creating similar products you may ask… “Why Meatless Farm? What are they doing differently?”
Well here are your answers;
Meatless Farm prides themselves on not being ‘Anti-meat’, or ‘Pro-Vegan’ but rather they want to encourage a wider audience to make more sustainable choices - even if it's just swapping out meat for plant-based food once or twice a week. They want their customers to eat their product and be inspired to cut out meat in their diet, through tasty, affordable, and healthier alternatives.
“We know the two biggest barriers to consumers eating more plant-based alternatives are taste and texture but we also know that health and sustainability are major drivers for consumers choosing it. Getting the balance right is critical and it’s something we’ve invested a lot of time and capital into” - Morten Toft Bech
Meatless Farm x Crowdcube
Meatless Farm's success and value is vast, which may make many beg the question of how? How is it that they have grown their high revenue so quickly, and why is it that they’re dominating the meatless meat industry?
If you're a new business or an entrepreneur looking to start out then keep on reading!
Founder of Meatless Farm Morten Toft Bech has used his entrepreneurial skills to increase the brand's revenue in a way that includes the community and other business owners. Toft Bech has said how he wants to invest his work into all parts of the supply chain ‘ from farm to fork’ - which is something investors are eager to cash in on as the meatless meat industry continues to grow.
From 2016-2019 Meatless Farm has raised £38 million through large business investors who saw the potential in their businesses; including Channel 4. However, as of 2020, they branched their investment opportunities out to the public.
Using the crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, Meatless Farm has started a fundraising campaign seeking to raise £5 million to fund innovation and increase the expansion of their business - the largest campaign set to appear on Crowdcube to date. To do this they offered anyone interested, the opportunity to invest in the businesses from just £10. These investments will take the form of convertible notes, which will turn into shares offered at a discounted price during the brand’s next corporate equity round of up to £75 million, which is scheduled at the end of this year.
“Our consumers are central to Meatless Farm, so by opening up to individual investors at this stage, we can offer the investment opportunity at a time when we have demonstrable momentum and the chance to provide funding, which will help drive both Meatless Farm and the category forward, recognising that big change is only possible when we all work together.” - Morten Toft Bech
Is this the future of new businesses?
Toft Bech will be using the investments to work towards his passion in the ‘food to fork’ process, by investing in every part of the supply chain to improve it, including:
- Working with farmers on crop selection and traceability to produce high-quality, sustainable ingredients
- Advancing plant-protein technology
- Enable environmentally efficient manufacturing
- Aim to grow a new plant-based generation.
The Crowdcube fundraiser has currently raised £3.5 million from 4465 investors, after being open to investors for just 3 months.
Future of eCommerce?
The way that Meatless Farm has entered the meatless meat industry as a new eCommerce business could be inspiring to many new businesses or entrepreneurs looking to venture out into the eCommerce world. They have taken a new approach to target consumers, by reaching out to everyone, not just vegans and vegetarians, who would be seen as their ‘target audience’. They have expanded their customer base by creating produce that replaces meat, but still provides taste, inspiration and will benefit their health at an affordable price.
They have used their marketing tactics to involve the public and other business owners by allowing them to invest in one of the fastest-growing industries, for as little as £10. Having a humorous, risque tone of voice they have been able to draw attention to themselves, and inevitably have had massive gains from this.
Going forward, could allowing the public to invest in your company be the best way to grow?
Meatless Farm has seen great growth by allowing the public and business investors to invest in their company. It has helped them create revenue that many businesses work years for. A combination of their great product and their successful marketing tactics has seen them become one of the most successful plant-based companies on the market.
So could this be the future of eCommerce? - Consumers have and will always welcome personal touches from a business, so allowing consumers to invest in your business and help make it grow, could be the best personal touch out there!
How other businesses have grown using Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a great way for new businesses to increase revenue and it has been a help to kickstarting many of the highly successful businesses that we know today.
- Oculus; before it was purchased by Facebook for $2 billion crowdfunding website Kickstarter helped raise $2.4 million in 4 hours for the start up virtual reality headset company.
- Fidget Cube; the ‘baby toy for adults’ initially raised $6.4 million on Kickstarter
BauBax; a multi-functional travel jacket, this successful company has created multiple crowdfunding campaigns, with its most successful raising $9.2 million.
It is important when you begin marketing your eCommerce business that you know who your consumer is and how to target them effectively. Whilst your business is kicking off, why not try crowdfunding, it is an efficient way to find your consumer, raise revenue and kick start your business!
- The meatless meat industry is growing rapidly and currently dominates the food market, in both retail and eCommerce, with the number of vegans and meat conscious consumers increasing substantially each year.
- Many businesses are adapting their models to adhere to societal changes and consumer demands, by increasing their use of sustainable and eco-friendly products and using plant-based produce.
- There has been a major influx of new plant-based businesses and restaurants that are taking the industry by storm with the plant-based meat market set to value at $31 billion in the next 5 years; Could this be the best industry to enter right now?
- Crowdfunding is an excellent way to increase revenue in an organic, personal way. Allowing businesses and the public to invest in your business in return for shares could be a way of increasing consumer loyalty, word of mouth and of course revenue.
- Meatless Farm has currently raised £3.5 million from 4465 investors, after being open to investors for just 3 months on the crowdfunding website Crowdcube. This could be a great website to use to help kickstart your business.
- Meatless Farm has utilised their tone of voice through their portraying themselves in a humorous relatable way, attracting the public and businesses to both their websites, where they can find more information on the business, and shop online. As well as a way of advertising their Crowdcube fundraiser; it is crucial that all marketing contains a call to action, to achieve results.
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