Daily Newsletter

07 November 2023

Daily Newsletter

07 November 2023

Huel to boost “global expansion” plans with Morgan Stanley backing

The US-headquartered bank invested through its sustainability-focused fund 1GT.

Henry Mathieu November 06 2023

UK-based meal replacement company Huel is aiming to drive its “global expansion” with backing from US investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Morgan Stanley made the investment through its 1GT climate private-equity strategy – which focusses on investments in growth-stage companies that “seek to collectively avoid or remove one gigaton of CO2e emissions from the earth’s atmosphere”.

James McMaster, CEO of Huel, said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with 1GT, which will further support our growth ambitions, as we continue our global expansion and deliver on our mission.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in the business and 1GT’s commitment to us demonstrates the significant potential of our brand and the strength of our sustainability credentials. We remain focused on providing our Hueligans with nutritionally complete food and look forward to working closely with the extremely innovative and expert team at 1GT in the coming years.”

The plant-based food powder and meal-replacement drinks company reported £144m ($175m) of revenue in the twelve months to July 2022, an increase of 41% on 2021.

In a post on LinkedIn, McMaster said Huel meals contribute “50% less carbon footprint than the average US meal”.

Earlier this year, the 1GT fund raised $500m in its first close as part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM).

Vikram Raju, head of both MSIM’s climate private equity investing and 1GT, said: “In recent years, Huel has reinforced its position as a leading brand within the sustainable nutrition sector addressing time-critical carbon issues, exactly the type of company we look to invest in.

“Huel has already demonstrated its unique growth potential through impressive revenue growth on resilient margins and strong cash generation. It has also made several unparalleled sustainability commitments which have been reinforced by an excellent B-Corp score and a distinctive commitment to changing the carbon footprint of our daily diets.”

Just Drinks has contacted both parties for details on the size of the share now held by Morgan Stanley.

Huel’s financial results for 2023 are due to be announced later this month.

Food industry in Eastern Europe is highly fragmented

Rising urbanization coupled with the increasingly busy lifestyles of consumers have resulted in the increasing demand for RTD beverages that are easy to carry and quick to consume. Further, the pandemic has created a huge surge in demand for non-alcoholic beverages with functional benefits and value addition, including low sugar, added proteins, probiotics, and plant-based ingredients. The beverage manufacturers have been capitalizing on the trends by focusing on both value addition and convenience associated with the packaging of RTD beverages.

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