Get All Access for $5/mo

Major Investments in Plant-Based Foods Include a $310 Million Facility and Tofurky Accepting Its First-Ever Private Investment The two recent moves show just how much the sector is growing.

By Stephen J. Bronner Edited by Dan Bova

Courtesy of Lightlife

Millions of dollars have been committed to plant-based meat replacements over the past few weeks.

Greenleaf Foods, makers of products under the Lightlife and Field Roast brands, today announced its plan to construct what it calls the "largest plant-based protein manufacturing facility" in North America. The company said in a press release that the facility, in Shelbyville, Ind., will cost $310 million and be operational in late 2020 "to meet rapidly rising demand for plant-based proteins by supporting its innovation pipeline across its brands." It estimates that 460 jobs will be created.

The 40-year-old company, a subsidiary of Canada-based Maple Leaf Foods Inc., recently introduced the Lightlife Burger and Ground, Italian Sausage and Bratwurst Sausage, all pea protein-based, in January.

Meanwhile, leading plant-based food maker Tofurky announced last week it has accepted $7 million in private investment, the first in the company's history. The company says its sales closed 2018 with nearly 24 percent growth, and this cash infusion was necessary to meet increased demand, even after adding a 44,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in 2016. The funds will be used to invest in new equipment and create capacity, but will not dilute ownership.

Related: How Food Entrepreneurs Are Saving the Planet, According to the CEO of Tofurky

Tofurky recently announced a new sub-brand called Moocho that will produce dairy-free desserts and frozen pockets.

Both announcements come on the heels of major growth in the plant-based food sector. Plant-based food sales charted at more than $3.3 billion in 2018, according to data compiled by the Plant Based Food Association. That's about 20 percent growth, compared to just 8 percent in 2017.
Stephen J. Bronner

Entrepreneur Staff

Contributors Editor

Stephen J. Bronner is contributors editor at Entrepreneur.com. He occasionally writes about food and fitness.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Leadership

How to Spot the Perfect Executive for Your Company

Hiring senior talent to run a team is a crucial moment in the story and trajectory of a company. Whether you need to hire senior talent now or are looking to gather insights for the future, it's important to be prepared for a gap in a crucial leadership position.

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Growing a Business

How a Local Greek Restaurant Seized Opportunities and Won a New Food Network Competition

After starting as a food truck in 2014, Think Greek has evolved into an award-winning restaurant by creating innovative menu items and taking advantage of opportunities that extend its audience reach.

Starting a Business

Your Business Will Never Succeed If You Overlook This Key Step

A comprehensive guide for startups to achieve and maintain product-market fit through thorough market research, iterative product development and strategic scaling while prioritizing customer feedback and agility.

Side Hustle

This Former Disney Princess Lived 'Paycheck to Paycheck' Before Starting a Side Hustle at Home — Now She Makes $250,000 a Year

Victoria Carroll's income was "sporadic" until a friend encouraged her to take her talents to Fiverr in 2018.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.