£2.5m boost for plant-based chicken firm VFC

By Jerome Smail contact

- Last updated on GMT

Matthew Glover (left) and Adam Lyons
Matthew Glover (left) and Adam Lyons

Related tags: vegan, Finance

Vegan chicken substitute producer VFC Foods has boosted its mission to ‘end factory farming’ by raising £2.5m in seed capital.

VFC Foods was co-launched by Veganuary co-founder Matthew Glover in December. The company said the funds would allow it to ‘scale up production and accelerate the growth of the brand both in the UK and abroad’.

The funding round was led by vegan investment firm Veg Capital, where Glover is managing director. Johnson Resolutions and the VFC senior leadership team also contributed to the investment.

“The launch phase has been phenomenally successful, with sales far exceeding our expectations, incredible foodservice and retail interest, as well as enquiries from more than 50 countries,”​ said Stewart McGuckin, director of sales at VFC Foods.

“All this has shown us two things: we have a brand and a product that people really love, and that we are ready to shift up a gear,”​ he added.

Product development

VFC, which stands for ‘Vegan Fried Chick*n’, said the company had generated ‘valuable consumer feedback’ in its first three months of trading.

The plant-based product was originally created by chef Adam Lyons at his York-based restaurant, Source, and he is currently developing a new version. The aim is to make the product ‘even more chicken-like in terms of texture and flavour profile’.

VFC plans to achieve sales of £20m by the end of 2023, and £50m in financial year 2025. By the company’s own calculations, this would be equivalent to saving 10.5 million chickens in total.

To steer the company through the next phase of its development, co-founder Glover will become chief executive officer, while Lyons will continue to oversee operations. VFC said it plans to strengthen the team with new job openings to be advertised soon.

Activism

“Our ultimate mission is to end factory farming, and so we are focused on driving efficiencies through our business that will allow us to compete directly with chicken on price, taste and convenience,”​ said Glover.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled with how the well the launch phase has gone. Now, with this funding, we can really scale up, and drive up that all-important ‘chickens saved’ figure,”​ he added.

Cliff Johnson, financial advisor at Veg Capital, said: “VFC is exactly the type of company that Veg Capital looks to support. From the focus on removing as many animals from the food chain as possible to their unbashful activism, supporting the education on the impact of one’s dietary choices, we are proud to follow on from our pre-seed investment and support the team in their growth plans.”

Related topics: Veganism

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