Clive's Purely Plants acquired by VFC Foods  2100x1400

Source: VFC Foods

A graphic depicting the three brands of VFC Foods, which supply vegan fried chicken, meat alternatives and plant-based bakery products.

Vegan bakery specialist Clive’s Purely Plants has been acquired by VFC Foods Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

The move sees VFC, which stands for Vegan Fried Chick*n, continue to expand its plant-based offerings after rescuing Meatless Farm from administration just four months ago. It also means the British vegan food company now has its first primary manufacturing site – Clive’s production facility in Dartmouth.

VFC said its latest purchase promises to increase group revenue by 30%.

“The acquisition of Clive’s, following the successful addition of Meatless Farm, positions VFC Foods as a formidable player in the market,” said VFC group CEO Dave Sparrow, who has also been serving as a non-executive director at Clive’s.

“With three strong brands experiencing substantial growth, we are well-positioned to further penetrate the retail and foodservice sectors in the UK and Europe. What excites us the most is the diverse range of products we can offer consumers, from enticing meat alternatives to wholesome and delicious vegetable-based options, making us one of the most diversified players in the category,” Sparrow added.

Clive’s supplies a range of plant-based pies, savoury tarts, quiches, and nut roasts to independent businesses, wholesalers, and major retailers including Waitrose, Asda, Ocado, and Abel & Cole. A further ‘big five’ listing from December is to be announced, according to VFC. Recent new product launches include Chestnut Mushroom & Saag Curry Pies, while the brand looked to battle Greggs in the vegan sausage rolls arena back in April.

In a company statement, Clive’s said it was “thrilled to be joining the VFC Foods family”, noting that it had found a like-minded partner to help it navigate a period of accelerated growth.

In 2019, the company made an initial investment of £1.2m towards expanding its factory premises, acquiring state-of-the-art equipment, and strengthening resources. Over the past two years, and under the leadership of managing director Esther Pearson, it has reported year-on-year total sales growth of 47%.

VFC was co-founded in 2020 in North Yorkshire by Adam Lyons and Matthew Glover, who is also co-founder of the Veganuary movement and plant-based technology fund Veg Capital.

Clive’s is to operate as a subsidiary of VFC with full support from its existing team including Pearson, who will continue as a shareholder. VFC noted this will ensure “continuity and a deep connection to our roots and values”.