Exclusive interview

Riding the meat-free wave at The Tofoo Company

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: vegan

Finding the perfect small business to build into a nationwide brand has proved to be a massive success, as the owners of The Tofoo Company explain in this exclusive podcast interview.

Co-founder and managing director David Knibbs related his history in the food industry and what drove him and his wife Lydia to take a chance on a small tofu manufacturer in North Yorkshire.

“We’d got to the stage​ [in our careers] where we wanted to set something up on our own and we’d done some work looking at health trends and vegetarianism and we were interested in that market,” ​Knibbs explained.

“We actually found a selection of small businesses on the internet and among those businesses was a small chilled tofu manufacturer in North Yorkshire. I always describe it as a bit like walking into a house you’re going to buy and you instantly know that it’s the right place – we very much had that feeling when we walked in.”

Hurdles and challenges

Knibbs also described some of the challenges that he and the company faced in its early years, as well as sharing some tips and tricks for food and drink start-ups.

“The biggest tip is finding a gap in the market,”​ said Knibbs. “It’s a really obvious thing to say, but what is it about your product, your offer that is different and is going to appeal consumers out there?”

Meanwhile, premiumisation and a diverse product range are the key trends driving the ice cream category, according to the boss of one of the world’s largest manufacturers in the sector in our exclusive interview.

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