Two Australian brands — Fenn Foods’ vEEF and All G Foods’ LOVE BUDS — have announced that they are merging to form a new company called The Aussie Plant Based Co.
vEEF and LOVE BUDS are both leaders in the plant-based meat category, in retail and food service respectively. The strategic merger will grant The Aussie Plant Based Co access to 6,000 distribution points across Australia, along with a manufacturing hub on the Sunshine Coast.
Demand for plant-based foods is growing rapidly in Australia; recent research found that 19% of Australians are eating a flexitarian diet, while 6% are vegetarian or vegan. The Aussie Plant Based Co hopes to cater to this demand and eventually expand into Asia and the Middle East.
“Leading the Australian industry”
Following the merger, All G Foods’ biotech arm will remain separate, continuing to focus on its mission of making cultivated milk cheaper than conventional dairy. The company secured $25 million from Agronomics in August of last year to accelerate this process, following two previous multi-million-dollar raises in September 2021 and February 2022.
“The Aussie Plant Based Co aspires to lead the Australian industry with the broadest route to market, an enticing range of taste-first products, and our exceptional team. This strategic move will allow All G Foods to focus solely on being Australia’s leading biotech specialising in precision fermentation,” said Jan Pacas, founder of All G Foods and chairman of The Aussie Plant Based Co.
The LOVE BUDS and vEEF brands will both be retained following the merger. LOVE BUDS’ range consists of plant-based nuggets, sausages, burgers, and more, while vEEF offers products such as plant-based bacon bits, pulled beef, and roast seitan. In April, Fenn Foods became Australia’s first carbon-neutral plant-based food company, a year after it raised $3 million in an oversubscribed private capital raise.
“This collaboration is a testament to our shared commitment to creating a sustainable, healthier, and tastier future for Australians. By combining our strengths, we can accelerate the adoption of plant-based alternatives and contribute to a greener planet and more ethical sources of protein,” said Alejandro Cancino, founder of vEEF and CEO of The Aussie Plant Based Co.