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Tofurky raises $7m to fuel plant-based meat ambitions, but doesn’t give away any equity

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Jaime Athos: 'Thankful to have found an entity that is aligned with our values ...'
Jaime Athos: 'Thankful to have found an entity that is aligned with our values ...'

Related tags Tofurky plant-based protein

Tofurky has raised $7m via a private investment to help scale production of its plant-based refrigerated sausages, deli slices, grounds, roasts and tempeh as consumer demand for meat alternatives continues to grow.

The first outside investment Tofurky​ has accepted in its history, which is in the form of debt rather than equity, will allow the Hood River, Oregon-based company to invest in new equipment to increase throughput and create capacity to explore new opportunities abroad and in foodservice “without any ownership or brand equity being disrupted​."

Sales of plant-based foods are “increasing by double-digits, and Tofurky is outpacing that overall category growth by about 4%,”​ added the company, which was founded by Seth Tibbott in 1980 and now sells its wares all over the world.

We have been cautious about investment previously, not wanting to compromise our purpose driven culture, but are thankful to have found an entity that is aligned with our values and recognizes what we can achieve by pushing the plant-based category forward with affordable, delicious foods that are accessible to all​,” said CEO Jaime Athos.

Pasture-raised plants

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA at the Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim last month, Athos said Tofurky - which utilises straplines such as 'pasture-raised plants' - was designed to be approachable and a little whimsical, appealing to meat-eaters and vegans/vegetarians alike.

Revenues at the company grew by more than 20% in 2018 vs 2017, said Athos, who expects 2019 to be "an even bigger year"​ as plant-based meats garner mainstream attention.

Recent innovations from the company include Moocho frozen cheesecakes, the company’s first sub-brand, and a revamp of the previously discontinued Tofurky pockets, which were originally launched in 2017 but discontinued after a co-packer told Tofurky it no longer wanted to produce the line.

The Moocho frozen vegan cheesecakes come in three varieties: Triple berry swirl, New York style vanilla, and chocolate fudge (MSRP $3.50-$3.99), while there are three SKUs for the pockets: Ham & Cheddar; Turk’y, Broccoli & Cheddar; and Pepp’roni Pizza (MSRP $3.00 - $3.99).

pockets tofurky
moocho choc tofurky

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