Plant-Based Meat Maker 'Before the Butcher' Acquired by Owners of Ground Beef Company
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As people eat more plant-based meats, with the global market expected to grow to more than $21 billion by 2025, competition is heating up.
Just in plant-based burgers alone, there's market leaders Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods as well as Lightlife and Morningstar, with Nestle soon debuting its Awesome Burger under its Sweet Earth Foods brand.
One company consumers may soon see more of is Before the Butcher. The startup yesterday announced it had been acquired by private investors Gregg and Jeff Hamann, the owners of ground beef producer Jensen Meat Company. Financial details were not disclosed. With the acquisition, Before the Butcher will have access to a $25 million line of credit, a 90,000-square-foot production space and cold storage warehousing facilities, according to a press release.
The two-year-old company, founded by Danny O’Malley, currently has 12 products, including plant-based beef, chicken and turkey burgers, "made from a proprietary combination of soy, coconut and canola oils and natural seasonings," according to the press release. The company's food can be found in 1,000 restaurants and 20 school districts, and it expects its retail footprint to grow to 3,000 stores by August.
“This acquisition validates our diversified product strategy and also gives us both the financial resources and the production capacity to support our strong growth forecasts,” O’Malley said in the press release. “It effectively turns us from a startup to a major player in the space.”The Hamann's acquisition of Before the Butcher also shows meat companies increasing interest in diversifying their businesses to include plant-based options. For example, Tyson, which sold off its stake in Beyond Meat before its IPO, will reportedly introduce its own plant-based options.