V2 food raises US$53m to fuel expansion into Europe as Freshly launches first line of plant-based meals

AUSTRALIA – V2 food, a leading Australian meat alternative company, has secured €45 million (US$53million) in a Series B extension round to fund its ambitious expansion plans into Europe and China. 

Based in Sydney, V2food produces a range of alternative protein products that mimic the taste and high protein, iron, and vitamin B content of meat. 

The company’s offerings which include plant-based burgers and sausages made from legumes are said to be free from GMOs, as well as artificial colors and flavorings. 

The company has also developed a production process that allows its products to be made in any standard meat production facility and is now confident of venturing abroad.  

To help with its overseas foray, V2food recently hired its first China-based general manager and has developed new products aimed specifically at the Chinese market. 

The company is also reported to have attracted ‘one of China’s largest delivery platforms’, offering V2 the opportunity to distribute products to consumers across its network. 

The extension round led by Belgium-based Astanor Ventures brings V2food’s total Series B funding to €92 million following a raise last year and will be critical in this global expansion drive. 

Freshly launches plant-based meals

Meanwhile, Freshly Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nestle USA, is launching its first line of plant-based meals to take advantage of the current trend where consumers are increasingly seeking out these foods for both health and sustainability reasons.  

According to the company, the new meals offer consumers a mix of twists on classic comfort foods and globally-inspired cuisine. 

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“We’re thrilled to provide our customers with a convenient way to incorporate minimally processed, plant-based meals into their routines,” said Mike Wystrach, founder and chief executive officer of Freshly.  

“We recognize that it can be challenging to eat a more plant-based diet without sacrificing on taste, but with the launch of Freshly’s Purely Plant, we’re laser-focused on delivering a variety of delicious, convenient, and better-for-you meal options, while also supporting flexitarians looking to make simple changes toward a more plant-based lifestyle.” 

The new Purely Plant meals feature proprietary plant protein blends, including pea protein blended with vegetables, legumes, seeds, pulses, and whole grains.  

All six meals, which include the Rainbow Harvest Plant-Based Burger, Indian-Spiced Chickpea Curry Bowl, Unwrapped Salsa Verde Burrito, the Farmstead Veggie Baked Pasta, Buffalo Cauliflower Mac & Cheeze, and Middle Eastern Falafel Bowl, are gluten-free and may be heated and served in three minutes with no preparation required. 

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