Alt-protein collective the LIVEKINDLY co. announced this week it has acquired Oumph!, a plant-based brand from Sweden. Oumph! is one of several different brands now in the LIVEKINDLY co portfolio, and the deal furthers the collective’s mission to “make plant-based eating the new normal,” according to a press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The LIVEKINDLY co. is itself a relatively new venture, formed in March of this year after Foods United bought vegan media company LIVEKINDLY and rebranded as LIVEKINDLY co. As my former colleague Catherine Lamb wrote at the time, the LIVEKINDLY co. is the only company that owns and operates “the entire value chain of production” when it comes to plant-based protein.
Besides this new acquisition of Oumph!, the LIVEKINDLY co. also holds a majority stake in South Africa-based Fry Family Food Co. and German startup LikeMeat, and has an equity stake in PURIS Holding, a maker of plant-based ingredients like pea protein.
Oumph!, meanwhile, was founded in 2015 and currently serves the Nordic countries, the U.K., and The Netherlands. Its products, which include “meat” products made from SOYA protein concentration, are sold at both restaurants and grocery retailers across those countries. The brand will launch in other global markets later this year, though this week’s press release didn’t specify which ones.
Regardless, it’s an apt time to be expanding a plant-based protein brand. The market for plant-based food is currently worth $5 billion, and sales of plant-based food grew 11.4 percent in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a role in this growth. Meat shortage scares and general wariness about where our food comes from has made more consumers open to the idea of buying and eating plant-based meat.
That’s exactly the audience the LIVEKINDLY co. and Oumph! aim to sway: a wider group of flexitarians trying plant-based meat for a variety of reasons, be they ethical, sustainable, or health related.