In 2019, CSIRO, Important Sequence, and Aggressive Meals Australia (CFAL) launched a plant-based meat firm referred to as v2food. With the backing of the nationwide science company and CFAL CEO (and founding father of Hungry Jack’s) Jack Cowin, the market disrupter took off at lightning pace, beginning with a v2whopper burger.
Former analysis director for Mars and PepsiCo Nick Hazell was v2food’s founder and CEO, and inside months it had raised $35 million.
It made its grocery store debut in August 2020 with its v2mince and v2burgers in Drakes Supermarkets and shortly moved into the main retailers.
Two years after its launch, v2food launched into the Chinese language market after a $72 million Sequence B Plus funding spherical.
It meant within the 2.5 years because it had launched, v2food had raised $185 million and been valued at $500 million, up from its launch worth of $2 million.
Then final week, Hazell introduced his resignation.
“The final 4 years, founding and main v2food, have been among the most worthwhile and thrilling years of my life,” Hazell mentioned.
Important Sequence companion and chair of v2food, Phil Morle, has been a part of the corporate for the reason that starting. He informed Meals & Drink Enterprise that Hazell’s departure represented the transition of the corporate, from a start-up to a rising giant meals firm.
“Nick oversaw the corporate and the Australian plant-based meat market develop in a short time, and to v2food dominating the home market. He led nice alternatives into abroad markets, now established in Asia and extra launches later within the 12 months,” Morle mentioned.
Hazell mentioned on his LinkedIn profile, “I wish to thank administrators and traders, analysis companions CSIRO, UTS and plenty of others who I partnered with and who share our audacious mission to feed the planet sustainably.
“And most of all I wish to thank the superb workforce I led at v2food who I do know will proceed to do all the things they will to develop an incredible Australian firm that may feed the world’s insatiable starvation for meat however make it sustainably from vegetation.
“It’s now time to step down as CEO: V2 is in good fingers.”
Morle mentioned, “It was a nicely mentioned subject between Nick and the corporate that his extraordinarily highly effective ability is in beginning firms, gathering folks across the idea, and committing to a mission. He’s most joyful fire-starting new concepts.”
Tim York has been appointed CEO. He has been COO since July 2021, becoming a member of the corporate after a brief stint at meals gear enterprise J.L. Lennard, and earlier than that Darrell Lea, together with being CEO from 2014-2020.
Morle mentioned the transition between Hazell and York was a simple one, and York’s “terrific” expertise rising giant firms was what was now wanted for the corporate.
“We’re launching into the UK later this 12 months, and our precedence is to develop into a big meals firm, and that’s Tim’s experience,” Morle mentioned.
Wodonga plans shelved
Within the very early days of v2food (December 2019), the enterprise invested round $20 million in a 55,470 sq. metre constructing in Wodonga, Victoria.
The purpose was for the positioning kind a part of v2food’s provide chain and can permit native farmers to produce to the plant-based business with Australian-grown elements, beginning with one line and ultimately working 4 or 5.
Morle informed Meals & Drink Enterprise they’d stepped into the Wodonga venture with the intention of taking part in a big position within the provide of Australian grown and processed plant-based elements.
(Suppose alongside the traces of Harvest B, Australian Plant Proteins, and Extensive Open Agriculture.)
“What we discovered fairly shortly was that it was extraordinarily troublesome and that we couldn’t do it on our personal. We now have needed to comprise that purpose in the meanwhile as a result of our precedence is to develop a big meals firm,” he mentioned.
Morle added that since v2food was based and the Wodonga web site was bought, the plant-based meals ecosystem has developed tremendously, and there are actually extra firms doing what v2food was trying (see above).
“There are firms utilizing fascinating expertise and researching totally different protein sources. The mothership of soy nonetheless must be imported and we all know that not solely does home manufacturing want to extend for soy, it has to for different sources as nicely.
“We’re seeing firms working with totally different proteins to what v2food makes use of, shifting past soy and doing a number of R&D into different sources. It’s a good reflection on the business as an entire,” Morle mentioned.
Plant-based meat assume tank Meals Frontier informed Meals & Drink Enterprise there are about 30 plant-based meat firms in Australia and New Zealand, and eight mobile ag firms. ANZ manufacturers account for greater than 60 per cent of the 320+ plant-based meat merchandise on our cabinets.
Take heed to our podcast episode with Nick Hazell and Phil Morle from April 2021 right here.
And our episode with Phil Morle on artificial biology right here.