The South African market is expected to grow by 6.5% by 2023
South African company Tiger Brands is co-investing in plant-based food company Herbivore Earthfoods with private equity firm Secha Capital, one of its directors said on Monday, as the food producer makes a foray into the fast-growing plant protein sector, Reuters reported.
Demand for plant-based meal replacements has grown in recent years, with much of the demand being driven by millennial consumers and young adults as they become more conscious of what they eat.
Tiger Brands, like many of its peers, is tapping into emerging consumer trends and filling gaps in its portfolio by diversifying into plant-based health, nutrition and meat products.
South Africa’s largest food producer, citing a report, said Africa’s plant protein market, of which the country accounts for 57%, is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% to reach 560 million. dollars by 2023.
The company’s investment in the Cape Town-based maker of plant-based and vegan products, such as dairy-free cheddar slices and pea protein burger patties, is being made through the recently launched venture capital fund by the group.
Along with co-investor Secha Capital, the fund has taken a minority stake in the company, fund manager Barati Mahloele told reporters and investors at an event in Cape Town. She did not give the amount of the investment.
The fund will be actively involved in supporting Herbivore’s growth ambitions “through better governance and strategic direction, as well as leveraging the group’s go-to-market and research expertise and development,” she added.
The investors also want to help Herbivore make plant-based foods more accessible and affordable for the South African consumer, Tiger Brands Group CEO Noel Doyle.
“At Herbivore, we see plant-based foods as the future of nutrition. More and more consumers are realizing the benefits of a plant-based diet,” said Chanel Grantham, Founder of Herbivore.
A few months after its launch, the Tiger Brands investment vehicle received more than 500 expressions of interest from eligible companies operating in the food technology and agricultural technology sector, and in November it announced that he was evaluating nine opportunities.
Doyle told Reuters the fund hopes to “spend a little more money” over the next six to nine months.