German ready-to-drink meal company Yfood has underlined the importance it is placing on growing overseas as it announced listings at Tesco, the UK’s largest grocer.
Founded in Munich in 2017, the Nestlé-backed brand’s three original RTDs – Fresh Berry, Smooth Vanilla and Classic Choco – have been rolled out into 350 Tesco Extras and superstores at £3.50 ($4.26) per 500ml bottle.
“Our mission is to be able to deliver better health to people, globally, and that’s why being international is important. We didn’t stop in Germany because we thought Germany is specifically different to any other country. We really recognise that the issues are at a human level in every country,” Paul Sloane, who heads Yfood’s business in the UK and Ireland, said.
“It’s not influenced particularly by culture, etc., so that’s why there are no markets off the list, shall we say and, right now, we’re very, very focused on the countries of the UK, Netherlands and France as key expansion for us.
“We can’t obviously just go everywhere and be able to deliver with focus, so, we want to do that strategically – what we do is we test the market online first, then where we start to see the traction and we start to see the fit, we’ll then move to retail.”
Yfood is present online in 30 countries and then physically in retail in eight – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, the UK, Spain and Sweden. Alongside the RTD meals, it offers powders and bars.
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The company received a minority investment from Nestlé earlier this year – after turning over €120m ($127m) in 2022 – but the Swiss dairy giant did not take control of operations or strategy.
Sloane said: “Working in partnership with the likes of Nestlé on board is a very positive help in terms of their strategic experience and what we potentially can learn from, where we can see as we grow, so lots and lots of positives in terms of the way the partnership fits.”
Yfood’s head office in Munich has around 200 employees, while it also has offices located in the UK, Netherlands and France.
Sloane said that “there’s an opportunity to grow with Tesco”, potentially looking at securing convenience stores too as it targets consumers who do not always have time for set meals.
“This is obviously from our side the beginning of a partnership,” he said. “It’s something where we’re right at the beginning of the journey but we’re already really talking about how we can work together, I guess in that longer term.”
Each Yfood 500ml bottle contains 26 vitamins and minerals along with 34 grams of protein and fibre. In the UK, the company secured listings in WHSmith, Superdrug, Spar and Nisa in the last four months, adding to their existing national presence in Holland & Barrett and selected Co-op stores.