Venture capital funding for plant-based meat brands slumps

Venture capital funding for plant-based meat start-ups has dropped to its lowest level in five years.

This comes as rising interest rates has caused consumers to cut back on spending, and as investors have become more cautious, the Financial Times reported.

While data provider PitchBook found that plant-based meat start-ups secured £553.7m from venture capital firms in the first quarter of 2022, this has dropped to £59.2m across 22 deals during the same period this year.

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Last month, plant-based chicken brand VFC made a deal with vegan mince firm, Meatless Farm, to save it from financial collapse.

Meatless Farm made the majority of its workforce redundant in June, and entered administration following a failed attempt to find new investment.

Other brands have also suffered from poor sales this year, as Nestlé pulled its meat-free brand Garden Gourmet and pea-based milk alternative brand, Wunda from retail in the UK and Ireland.

The move came as the brands were “not viable” in current market conditions, with Garden Gourmet having seen sales of just £2.2 million in 2022.

Sausage company Heck reduced its meat-free range from 10 products to two following a lack of consumer demand.

However, co-founder Jamie Keeble told the BBC he expects demand for meat-free alternatives will return.



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