The Plant & Co brand has been developed and produced at one of Meadow Foods’ sites in the city of Chester, north-west England.

The factory was the recipient of a multi-million-pound investment last year to create a segregated but adjacent facility for Meadow Foods entry to dairy alternatives targeted at foodservice customers. Its existing Chester plant also produces regular milk, cream and yogurt.

Meadow Foods has four production facilities, with the other three located in Peterborough, Holme-on-Spalding Moor and Dolgellau, Wales, where it manufactures value-added ingredients and processes around 550 million litres of milk a year.

Plant & Co low-sugar and lactose-free yogurts, the first products launched under the brand, are made from a blend of oats grown in the UK and rice, and have been developed over the last 12 months. They feature four flavours in strawberry, raspberry, peach and natural and are available in 125- and 450-gram pot formats, and tubs ranging from one to 10 kilograms.

A spokesperson for Meadow Foods said the follow-on products under the Plant & Co line will be alternatives to milk, such as a “barista” milk, along with creams and soft cheese, which are expected to be available during the summer and early autumn.

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Meadow Foods was founded in 1992 by executive chairman Simon Chantler and partner John Pickering.

In 2018, the company attracted a new shareholder in the form of UK-based Exponent Private Equity, which acquired the undisclosed holding from Paine Schwartz Partners.

Paine invested in the business in 2016, when Meadow Foods said the Chantler family would remain a “substantial shareholder”.

CEO Mark Chantler said: “We’re excited to be releasing our new plant-based yogurt range and we’re looking forward to extending our portfolio to accommodate the dairy alternatives and plant-based market.  Dairy continues to be at the core of our business and we are passionate about reflecting the quality of taste from our dairy division in our plant-based products too.”