UK-based manufacturer Samworth Brothers is to shut its plant-based factory, Revolution Kitchen, “later this year”.
The vegan-approved manufacturing facility, based in Leicestershire in the English Midlands, was making a “significant loss“.
“Despite substantial investment over recent years and the commitment and hard work of everyone connected with the business, Revolution Kitchen had continued to make significant losses,” Samworth Brothers said in a statement.
It emerged in July that the company was in consultation with staff about the potential closure of the site, which it opened in 2020.
Revolution Kitchen makes private-label products including the Wicked Kitchen range for Tesco. The Wicked Kitchen portfolio features plant-based frozen ready meals, pizzas, ice cream, meat and fish.
In its latest statement, Samworth Brothers said the factory “operates in a product area that is currently experiencing some challenges and a decline in sales volumes”.
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The company did not specify when the plant in Melton Mowbray would close and said the majority of its staff have been redeployed to other Samworth Brothers facilities in the area.
“Redeployment discussions are still continuing at the moment. We entered into consultation with 169 colleagues,” Samworth Brothers added.
Samworth Brothers operates across food-to-go, savoury pastries and cooked meals, as well as in plant-based food.
The privately-owned group generated a turnover of £1.18bn ($1.44bn) in 2022, up 18% on a year earlier. Operating profit stood at £42.6m, versus £37.5m in 2021. Profit for the year was £32.3m, against £19.6m the year previous.
In February, the Melton Mowbray-headquartered company invested in the plant-based meat start-up Tiba Tempeh.
Nevertheless, slowing sales of plant-based foods in the UK have led to companies reassessing their operations and to business failures
Last month, Hilton Food Group had consolidated its factory operations for meat alternatives as a proactive measure against the “market restructure” in the category.
Another UK-headquartered plant-based company, Plant & Bean, called in administrators in June. Administrators Interpath Advisory are exploring options for the business.
VFC Foods, meanwhile, acquired The Meatless Farm Co. brand in June after the company itself went into administration.
Elsewhere, other businesses continue to invest. Northern Ireland-based Finnebrogue has set out plans to invest £2.8m ($3.6m) to upgrade its three-year-old plant-based food factory.