After expanding to over 500 points of sale in 50 cities, Russian alt-meat brand Welldone has seen sales surge to surpass those of Beyond Meat. The rise has been partially attributed to Welldone’s affordable pricing, at just $3 for a pack of two burgers.
Following its recent success, the company has closed a $1.5 million funding round, led by Phystech Ventures with participation from Lever VC. The funding will allow Welldone to increase its production capacity to 150 tons per month in order to keep up with demand. It will also be used for R&D and new product launches.
Additionally, the company is aiming to further increase distribution in regions such as Moscow, as well as expanding internationally. Its products are already available in Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The Russian Plant-Based Market
The market for plant-based foods in Russia is growing at an unprecedented rate. Alt-meat products are expected to account for 1.5% of the meat market within four years, and sales of milk alternatives have grown by seven times in just two years.
After Beyond Meat initially arrived in Russia in 2019, interest in alt-meat products surged. Not long afterwards, a study found that 54% of Russians were prepared to include plant-based meats in their diets. In February of this year, industry expert Julia Marsel told vegconomist that alt-protein foods were “going from niche to mainstream” in Russia.
“Today more and more people in Russia are starting to think about their diet,” said Welldone CEO Alexander Kiselev. “They understand that there are ingredients in animal meat which are not good for them, such as cholesterol. The plant-based market is poised to grow very quickly in Russia and Eastern Europe, and with our significant investment in R&D, world-class yet affordable products, and partnership with Phystech Ventures and Lever VC, we look forward to leading the growth of the category.”