LikeMeat set to hit China

LikeMeat set to hit China

Plant-based meat supplier The Livekindly Collective is gearing up to enter China.

Kees Kruythoff, The Livekindly Collective's chairman and CEO, told just-food the business is looking to launch products in the market in the second half of the year.

In an interview with just-food, Kruythoff said the US-based group plans to sell more than one brand in the country. The company is preparing to launch one of its existing brands in China, as well as a product developed for the market.

"We have developed already a unique Chinese brand positioning," Kruythoff revealed. "It's very, very, very exciting. We will have a local brand crafted [and] we will have international brands coming into China. We will have an international roll-out of LikeMeat there."

Known until early 2020 as Foods United, The Livekindly Collective is, through a series of acquisitions, home to brands including Germany-based LikeMeat, Sweden's Oumph and South Africa's Fry Family Food Co.

Kruythoff indicated M&A might also form part of The Livekindly Collective's plans for China, one of two new "priority" markets for the business, alongside the US.

"You get a combination of what we will launch and basically roll out as international brands, crafting a brand specifically and then combined or complemented with potential M&A if it happens or not," he said.

Earlier this week, The Livekindly Collective announced it has attracted more investment.

The Rise Fund, part of private-equity firm TPG, led the funding round, with existing investors including the investment arm of Rabobank also taking part.

In a statement, The Livekindly Collective said the investment was "a growth funding round" of US$335m, a pot that includes $135m converted from a prior tranche of funding. In all, the business said it has raised $535m in its first year.

For the full interview with Kruythoff, click here.