Vegan burger-maker Meatless Farm has beaten American rivals to seal a major US distribution deal.
The Leeds-headquartered start-up, founded by 45-year-old former financier Morten Toft Bech in 2016, makes pea protein-based meat alternatives.
Its products can already be found inside Leon and Pret offerings, and the Standard learned on Wednesday that the company has secured a partnership deal to supply the listed, century-old New York-based American hot dog brand, Nathan’s Famous.
The partnership will see Nathan’s, which operates across 50 US states and sold over 700 million hot dogs in 2020, offer its first ever vegan version developed over the course of a year - a combination of Meatless Farm protein and Nathan’s “secret spice” recipe.
Several rival US plant-based producers also competed for the fast food collaboration, the Standard understands.
The meat-alternative market is booming, and is set to account for around 10% of the $1.4 trillion-a-year global meat market by 2029, according to research from Barclays.
Watch: Beyond Meat competitor inks a deal with Whole Foods
Nielsen’s Smart Protein Plant-Based Food Sector Report 2021 found that sales of plant based products grew 36% in 2020 in the UK alone.
Toft Bech said: “We’re working with the most iconic hot dog company in the US, turning this American favourite into a Meatless favourite... More people making smaller changes will have a greater impact than a few making drastic ones.”
Nathan’s Famous’ restaurants senior vice president, James Walker, said: “We are looking forward to growing a new customer base with this partnership with Meatless Farm and know their high-quality ingredients are the way to deliver what our customers have come to expect of the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog.”
The news comes after Meatless Farm completed a $75 million (£54 million) fundraising round last month, following on from a $31 million (£24 million) successful funding round in September 2020.
The company employs around 100 people across offices in Leeds, Amsterdam, Tribeca and Singapore. Its products are stocked across major UK supermarkets, and already have a US presence on the shelves of high-end retailer Whole Foods. It also recently opened a major factory in Canada.
Watch: How to save money on a low income