LONDON — Unilever P.L.C. is set to further its presence in the plant-based foods category with the acquisition of The Vegetarian Butcher, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Founded in 2007 by Jaap Korteweg, The Vegetarian Butcher is a meat substitute company that distributes products to more than 4,000 outlets in 17 countries.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Unilever and The Vegetarian Butcher have collaborated since 2016, when the two companies jointly launched packaged vegetarian meatballs in satay sauce and vegetarian meatballs in tomato sauce. Both products 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,” said Nitin Paranjpe, president of Foods and Refreshment at 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 toward more plant-based food.”
Unilever offers nearly 700 products featuring the V-label in Europe, which is a designated symbol for the labeling of vegetarian and vegan products.
Mr. Korteweg said the transaction represents The Vegetarian Butcher’s next step in its ambition to grow into the largest butcher in the world.
“We want to take the next step — conquer the world,” he said. “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.”