The acquisition will be valuable for Maple Leaf's brands, including Schneiders hot dogs.
Canadian meat company Maple Leaf Foods has agreed to acquire plant-based protein manufacturer Lightlife Foods for $140 million.
Lightlife manufactures more than 30 product lines at its production facility in Massachusetts, including plant-based tempeh, hot dogs, breakfast foods and burgers. The company reported sales of approximately $40 million last year, and controls nearly 40% of the US’ refrigerated plant protein market.
The move highlights Maple Leaf Foods’ commitment to enhancing the sustainability of its product portfolio, as well as the growing awareness of plant- and insect-based proteins as a potential solution to the world’s future protein needs. The US market for plant-based proteins alone is worth an estimated $600 million, Maple Leaf Foods said, with the refrigerated category representing $110 million of that and accounting for ‘double-digit growth’.
The seller is private equity firm Brynwood Partners.
Maple Leaf Foods president and CEO Michael McCain said: “Expanding into the fast-growing plant-based proteins market is one of Maple Leaf’s strategic growth platforms and supports our commitment to become a leader in sustainability.
“Consumers are increasingly looking to diversify their protein consumption, including plant-based options. The acquisition of Lightlife provides Maple Leaf with a leading market position and brand in the United States in a category that is outpacing growth in the broader packaged foods sector. We will expand our presence through investment in brand building, innovation and leveraging our respective capabilities.”
The acquisition will allow Maple Leaf Foods to incorporate more plant-based options into its portfolio, which includes brands like Schneiders and Mina.
Roy Lubetkin, president and CEO of Lightlife Foods, said: “We at Lightlife are truly excited about today’s announcement, which will allow us to accelerate our growth and broaden our reach in the fast growing plant-based protein market. Maple Leaf Foods has an industry-leading commitment to sustainable protein, including a strategic focus on plant proteins, and being part of this incredible organisation will enable the continued growth of our brands.”
Lightlife management will continue to lead the business, which will operate as a subsidiary of Maple Leaf.
The deal is expected to close next month, subject to customary US regulatory approval.
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