LiveKindlys brands include Oumph, acquired in 2020

LiveKindly's brands include Oumph, acquired in 2020

The Livekindly Collective, an investor-backed group of plant-based start-ups, has appointed former Kraft Heinz executive and investment banking man David Knopf as its finance chief.

Knopf will take up the chief financial officer role at US-based Livekindly tomorrow (30 July), joining the newly established business from New York-headquartered private-equity firm 3G Capital, where he had been a partner since 2015. He was previously CFO at US food major Kraft Heinz and has also worked at private equity business Onex Partners and investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Livekindly was set up earlier this year with private-equity firm Blue Horizon Ventures as its principal shareholder and a number of food industry executives at its helm, including former Unilever man Kees Kruythoff, who is chairman and chief executive. 

Located in Delaware, Livekindly has acquired a number of companies in the plant-based sphere, including The Fry Family Food Co. in South Africa and LikeMeat in Germany. It also holds a stake in Puris Holdings in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most recently, the collective purchased the meat-alternative brand Oumph in Sweden, which is owned by Food for Progress.

CEO Kruythoff commented on the new executive appointment: "David brings extensive financial, M&A and strategic experience. This, combined with his deep knowledge of the food industry and scaling high-growth companies, makes him a huge asset to the LiveKindly Collective as we accelerate our mission to transform the global food system and make plant-based eating the new normal."

Meanwhile, Livekindly has appointed Joanna Liu as the CEO of Greater China effective from 16 August. She is a founder of the McCain Asian Food Service Incubator, and has also worked at Nestlé and Coca-Cola in China.

Livekindly's founders include Roger Lienhard, who sits on the board of directors and is also the founder of Blue Horizon, and Jodi Monelle, the CEO and founder of Canada-based Livekindly Media, which is part of the overall business.