Cheese heavyweight Bel Group has continued with its strategy of diversifying into healthier, on-trend categories by agreeing to acquire local plant-based start-up All in Foods.

The France-based Laughing Cow, Leerdammer and Babybel brands owner will become the majority shareholder with an 80% stake, while the All in Foods’ founding family will own the remainder. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Bel said the acquisition is in line with its strategy unveiled in 2015 aimed at expanding the company’s activities beyond cheese products to become a major player in the healthy snack market, focusing on dairy, fruit and plant-based products.

It has already acquired Morocco-based Safilait, a dairy producer, and Mom, the maker of the Materne, GoGo squeez and Montblanc brands.

And just last month Bel announced it had invested in Yofix Probiotics, the Israel-based dairy-free yogurt start-up.

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By GlobalData

Founded in 2013 by the Jouault family, All in Foods is based in Saint-Nazaire. It makes plant-based alternatives to cheese, as well as plant-based sauces, under the Nature & Moi brand. Its products are sold in hypermarkets and supermarkets and also into the foodservice channel, and on a white-label basis in France and internationally.

Bel said the deal will help speed up the development of plant-based products across its own brand portfolio.

Antoine Fievet, chairman and CEO of the Bel Group, said: “The Bel Group has enhanced its entry into the plant-based era and confirms its strong ambitions. We continue to diversify our product offering to meet new consumer expectations, and we are guided by our mission to champion healthier and responsible food for all. 

“We believe in the excellence and potential that All in Foods has to offer, to meet the challenge for more sustainable food.”

Bertrand Jouault, All in Foods’ founder, said: “The All In Foods story is one of passion and family. We share common values with the Bel Group and the belief that plant-based foods offer enormous possibilities for our food of tomorrow.”

Read: Why cheese giant Bel sees opportunities in plants