Led by food industry veterans, the LIVEKINDLY co. collective of heritage and startup brands is on a mission to become one of the biggest plant-based food companies in the world and make plant-based eating the new normal.
Its brands include The Fry Family Food Co., LikeMeat, digital media platform LIVEKINDLY, and its most recent acquisition, multi-award-winning Swedish plant-based meat brand Oumph!
“Bringing Oumph! Into the LIVEKINDLY co. family was a natural next step for us,” said CEO and chairman of the LIVEKINDLY co. Kees Kruythoff in a statement. “Their commitment to plant-based food quality and protecting the planet mirrors our own as we accelerate our mission to make plant-based eating the new normal.”
Oumph!’s soy-based products—currently available in the UK, the Nordic countries, and the Netherlands—wouldn’t be out of place on a meat-lovers dinner table. They include Sticky Smokehouse meatless ribs, a range of flavored kebab meats, including Thyme & Garlic and Salty & Smoky, burgers, and sausages.
A Shift in the Food System
By putting more quality, sustainable, plant-based options on the shelves, the LIVEKINDLY co. wants to encourage a complete shift in our food system. Globally, consumers are already starting to shop for food differently.
In the U.S., nearly a quarter of the population is eating fewer meat products. Instead, people are embracing flexitarian diets and choosing plant-based food options more frequently. In the UK, 20 million Brits are cutting back on meat. In 11 European countries—including Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain—more than 40 percent of people are eating fewer meat products. Experts predict that the plant-based meat market will grow to $27.9 billion by 2025.
Attitudes are changing around protein, but people eat an estimated 315 million tons of meat every year. By 2030, this could rise to 453 million tons a year. This is a problem, not just for the billions of animals slaughtered for their flesh, but for the environment, too. Animal agriculture generates around 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions every year and uses 70 percent of agricultural land. It’s also a leading cause of water pollution, deforestation, and biodiversity loss.
The human health issues related to meat consumption are widely known, too. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and scores of other conditions have links to consuming animal products.
Despite assumptions that plant-based food is expensive, switching to a plant-based diet could actually save consumers money. Earlier this year, a study by a vegetarian brand revealed that Brits saved £6.7 billion in 2019 by eating affordable plant-based foods instead of animal products.
A Plant-Based Ecosystem
The LIVEKINDLY co. is forming its own plant-based ecosystem to help foster the much-needed change in our food system. It’s the only company in the plant-based food sector to both own and operate the whole value chain of production. It has partnerships with seed growers, producers, and distributors across the globe. It has also invested in transforming traditional meat production facilities into plant-based producers.
Its newest brand Oumph! is set to keep growing in popularity. In the first quarter of 2020, it witnessed 40 percent sales growth across all markets.
Oumph!, which was founded in 2015, is part of Food for Progress. Based in Sweden, Food for Progress is also striving to create a more sustainable and secure global food system.
The company provides manufacturing knowledge and support to local and global companies on product development and market access. It has partnerships with farmers, scientists, dietitians, and entrepreneurs, all of which offer their expertise to transform the food system.
By joining with the LIVEKINDLY co., Oumph! will help further Foods For Progress’ mission to get people eating more plants.
Anders Wallerman, Oumph!’s co-founder, said: “Our mission from day one has been to get more people eating plant-based food, which is a healthier, more sustainable way forward for the environment. I look forward to working with the LIVEKINDLY co. to introduce new and existing products to more people around the world.”
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