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The plant-based brand would use McCain’s global presence to enter new markets, it said

McCain Foods has acquired a minority stake in plant-based frozen food company Strong Roots for $55m, with plans to accelerate its growth and take it into foodservice.

The “strategic partnership” would allow both businesses “to continue meeting the rising consumer demand for healthy and natural food globally”, McCain said.

Strong Roots would continue to operate in an independent capacity, but McCain would work with it to “continue its rapid growth and further its mission to fix the freezer aisle and provide plant-based, environmentally responsible, positive food choices, for everyone”, it added.

It would use McCain’s global presence to expand its own footprint in existing markets, including the UK, Ireland and US, and to enter new markets working with new retailers, it added.

Strong Roots will also expand into foodservice through McCain’s out-of-home network.

McCain, meanwhile, would gain an expanded product portfolio via Strong Roots, which appealed to “consumers looking for healthy, natural and simple meals that are tasty and include real fruits & vegetables”, said the frozen giant.

The partnership with the B Corp Strong Roots would also bolster its “commitment to planet-friendly foods”, it added.

McCain GB&I regional president Howard Snape said the business was committed to “ensuring our food continues to meet constantly changing consumer needs”.

“Strong Roots is a company that not only focuses strongly on sustainability, but is also doing incredible work to grow the range of healthy frozen foods available when consumers are looking for it most.”

Strong Roots founder and CEO Samuel Dennigan added: “Working in partnership with McCain Foods means that we are able to grow our brand and the values it stands for, while providing us at Strong Roots with the resources and capabilities we need to see change through, globally and impactfully.”

McCain has been ramping up its activity in plant-based over recent months: September saw it team with Pilot Lite Capital for the debut of a vegan sauces and dips brand called The Simple Root.

The brand used an “innovative technology”, which gave potatoes and other root vegetables a “creamy taste and texture”, said McCain.

In June, the frozen foods giant committed to sourcing all of its potatoes from farms using fully regenerative methods by 2030 – a pledge that would encompass some 370,000 acres of land, it said.