Unilever, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., announced plans to acquire The Vegetarian Butcher, The Netherlands, to expand its portfolio into plant-based foods.
With this acquisition, Unilever responds to the growing trend of providing vegetarian and vegan meals. For The Vegetarian Butcher, the acquisition is the next step in becoming what is said to be “the largest butcher in the world,” according to Jaap Korteweg, founder of The Vegetarian Butcher. “Unilever’s international network across 190 countries provides every opportunity to accomplish this. We want to take the next step—conquer the world. It is our mission to make plant-based ‘meat’ the standard. We believe that with Unilever’s international network, this acquisition will help to accelerate our mission.”
Unilever and The Vegetarian Butcher started working together in 2016 when they jointly launched the Vegetarian Meatballs in Satay Sauce and Vegetarian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce, which were marketed under the Unox brand.
“The Vegetarian Butcher is a brand with a clear mission, many loyal ambassadors, a good following on social media and a strong position in the market,” says Nitin Paranjpe, president, foods and refreshments for Unilever. “The brand will fit in well within our portfolio of ‘brands with purpose,’ which have a positive social impact, are better positioned to meet the needs of consumers and are growing faster. Importantly, this acquisition will help us to accelerate our journey towards more plant-based food.”
The Vegetarian Butcher employs approximately 90 people, who are expected to remain with the business under Unilever ownership.