LIVEKINDLY Collective, a collection of alternative protein brands, announced this week that it is acquiring Amsterdam-based company The Dutch Weed Burger. The Dutch Weed Burger makes a range of meat analogs using seaweed as the hero ingredient. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
LIVEKINDLY Collective formed in March of 2020 when Foods United bought vegan-focused media company LIVEKINDLY. Brands in the LIVEKINDLY Collective portfolio include Oumph!, The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, and No Meat, which the company acquired earlier this year. This past March, LIVEKINDLY Collective closed a $335 million round of funding that the company said would go towards new partnerships and acquisitions.
With the purchase of The Dutch Weed Burger, LIVEKINDLY Collectiveis expanding into seaweed products. Seaweed is a source of protein that can be cultivated using minimal fresh water and no agricultural land. It’s also pretty versatile. Other startups using seaweed include New Wave Foods, which is making seaweed-based shrimp, and Oceanium is using seaweed to make food ingredients including protein, fibre and nutraceuticals, as well as home-compostable packaging materials.
In its press announcement, LIVEKINDLY Collective said that the acquisition of The Dutch Weed Burger also will help the company scale internationally into the UK and the Nordics, as well as the U.S. and Canada.
LIVEKINDLY Collective is striking while the plant-based iron is hot. Here in the U.S., sales of plant based meat have experienced double-digit growth over the past two years. According to the Good Food Institute, the plant-based meat market is worth $1.4 billion here in the U.S., having increased by more than $430 million from 2019 to 2020. Additionally, the NPD Group reported this week that shipments of plant-based proteins to restaurants in the U.S. were up 60 percent year-over-year.
Between demand for plant-based foods increasing and its sizeable warchest, it’s a safe bet that this isn’t the last acquisition LIVEKINDLY Collective will be making this year.