TWO Inc., the company behind Japan’s plant-based food brand 2foods, reports to vegconomist it has raised USD 4.4 million in Series A from Kagome Corporation, Japan’s largest producer of processed tomato products, to accelerate growth for the plant-based processed food business.
Following news from Japan that the alt-meat market is beginning to take off since its government declared it an “important sector” in 2020, Tokyo-based well-being business TWO entered the vegan food market by launching its plant-based food brand called 2foods with around 60 types of plant-based foods, desserts, and drinks.
Kagome Corporation is a strategic partner to build a business foundation for TWO’s plant-based brand 2foods, as it holds a dominant position in Japan and Asia with 60% of the Japanese domestic market share for tomato ketchup, vegetables, and fruit juices.
In April 2021, TWO concluded a comprehensive business alliance agreement with Kagome that includes working together to develop products in an environment of open innovation, utilizing the strengths of both companies. Following the investment round, TWO will create synergies by strengthening the collaboration between TWO and Kagome to accelerate growth for the plant-based processed food business in Japan and build a business foundation for the plant-based brand 2foods.
In 2022, TWO will start collaborating with various companies to develop plant-based food ingredients and processed plant-based products. In the long run, TWO aims to become a platform for plant-based food as a global brand of food originating from Japan.
Strong sense of unity
Commenting on the partnership with Kagome, Yoshio Yahagi of TWO inc. states: “Since April 2021, we have been able to collaborate with Kagome with a sense of speed, taking advantage of each other’s strengths from idea planning to product development. We were very surprised by the strong sense of unity between Kagome’s management team and the frontline, and the flexibility and speed of the project, which was different from the image we had imagined for a large company.
“This investment will bring us even closer together, and we are excited to start developing innovative products that will lead the plant-based food market based on a strong relationship of trust.”