Vegan food firm in triple-digit growth

By Noli Dinkovski contact

- Last updated on GMT

Fry Family Food Co’s chicken-alternative nuggets
Fry Family Food Co’s chicken-alternative nuggets

Related tags: vegan, Npd, Finance

A vegan food manufacturer is celebrating triple-digit growth after securing listings in Sainsbury’s and Tesco.

Fry Family Food Co grew its sales by more than 211% in 2019, with retail sales value reaching £5.6m, according to Kantar.

The Oxfordshire-based company claimed its year-on-year growth was among the highest recorded in the UK’s booming meat-free industry, which is now estimated to be worth £474.5m.

Fry’s was set up in 1991 in the family kitchen of Wally and Debbie Fry, who began making burgers and sausages without meat. It is now a second-generation family business, manufacturing both fresh and frozen plant-based meat alternatives.

Major supermarket listings

Fry’s said its recent success could in part be explained by its arrival on the shelves of major UK food retailers.

In October 2018, Sainsbury’s started selling eight Fry’s products, including ready meals, ingredients and snacking options. The range is 100% vegan, non-genetically modified and uses only natural flavouring. Tesco began stocking Fry’s products in late 2019.

The new retail launches complemented Fry’s existing listings in Morrisons and Holland and Barrett.

The company was confident that growth would continue in 2020 with the introduction of three new lines.

Timed to coincide with Veganuary, Fry’s has launched fish-style fillets and two different styles of hand-stretched sourdough pizzas – Mediterranean-style and smoky BBQ.

A quarter of all new product launches

Almost a quarter of all new products launched in the UK last year were vegan, as sales of meat-free foods grew 40% to an estimated £816m, according to Mintel.

Such figures were testament to the nation’s growing appetite for vegetarian and vegan options, which has resulted in brands like Fry’s move from health stores to the aisles of major food retailers, said Fry’s international marketing director Tammy Fry.

“It’s exciting to see the business achieve so much in such a competitive market,”​ Fry said. “These figures demonstrate a 30-year commitment to providing high-quality meat-free products that people enjoy.

“We will continue to expand our range and look for new retail opportunities as vegetarian and vegan food firmly enters the mainstream.”

Plant-based proteins conference: secure your place now

An event showcasing the opportunities and challenges around plant-based food is to take place in Amsterdam at the end of May.

Hosted by Food Manufacture​, The future of plant-based proteins conference will bring together leading industry representatives – from start-ups to international manufacturers and retailers – to discuss the latest developments, success and barriers in the rapidly expanding plant-based protein market.

Sponsored by Kerry Taste & Nutrition, the conference will be held at the Park Plaza Amsterdam Airport hotel, with a networking drinks evening on 27 May and a full conference programme the following day.

Learn and be inspired

The conference – which will include breakout sessions – will provide a high-level opportunity for manufacturers, brands and retailers to learn, be inspired, build connections and be up-to-date with emerging developments.

Last year’s inaugural event featured VBites founder Heather Mills as keynote speaker, and included talks by representatives from The Meatless Farm Company, Finnebrogue, Rabobank, the European Plant-based Food Association, and the US Good Food Institute.

Delegates came from all over Europe, the US, South America and Australia, representing a diverse range of food and meat processing sectors, as well a number of global start-ups.

Please email our events team​ if you are interested in attending this year. Further information and conference speaker updates can be found at our dedicated website​.

Please contact Alix Hunter​ if you are interested in sponsoring the event.

Related topics: NPD, Chilled foods, Frozen, Veganism

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