THIS™ Isn_t Pork Sausages, VeganPlant Based

Plant-based brands dominated the food sector campaigns on Seedrs in 2022

Food and drink start-ups have continued to attract increased investor interest on crowdfunding platforms despite raging inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.

The latest annual report by Seedrs revealed a 24% uptick in successful campaigns in the category to 97 in 2022, with businesses raising £105.1m in total, a year-on-year increase of 14%.

Plant-based brands dominated the food sector campaigns, with Seedrs expecting the trend to continue in 2023 as the population of vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians grows further.

A growing awareness of the perceived impact of meat alternatives versus traditional farming also added to the heightened demand in the space, according to the report.

Plant-based producer This returned to Seedrs in 2022, raising more than £8m from almost 3,000 backers in one of the biggest crowd rounds to date for a vegan brand.

As well as backing meat-free brands, investors put money into plant-based cheese, with Honestly Tasty securing more than £800k.

Retailers in the space also smashed funding targets as Planet Organic closed a £7m round at the end of the year, valuing the chain at £30m.

Building on the success of plant-based, demand increased for organic and ‘real food’ producers. Hunter & Gather raised £1.4m – beating its £500k goal – to target more mainstream retail listings for its range of keto and paleo-inspired all-natural oils, sauces, supplements and collagen.

“In 2022, the changing attitudes of consumers towards both sustainability and dietary lifestyles have been reflected on Seedrs and the wider markets through increased awareness and investment,” Seedrs senior associate Michael Tymofijiw said.

“We would expect this to continue into 2023 and to see further diversification of the sector. Look out for precision fermentation and further forays into vegan confectionery and snacks.”

The alcoholic drinks industry, in particular breweries and distilleries, remained in focus on Seedrs in 2022, with Salcombe Gin raising more than £1.6m and Port of Leith Distillery raising more than £2.8m.

Seedrs identified whisky and tequila as products to watch in the drinks space this year.

Demand for zero-alcohol beers saw Big Drop bring in more than £2.3m from 448 investors on the platform.

“Ultimately, the alcohol industry is transforming the types of beers and spirits which are being produced,” Seedrs associate Nikhita Govekar added. “They have had to adapt to the growing consumer demand for healthy and sustainably focused products.”

Increased focus on sustainability also helped eco tissue brands Cheeky Panda and Naked Sprout, which raised £2.8m and more than £600k respectively.

The shift towards sustainable DTC brands in the beauty and personal care category fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic continued despite the pressure on online shopping caused by the cost-of-living crisis, with Fussy and AKT London raising £1.3m and £1m respectively.

However, businesses raising with Seedrs in the health and wellness space saw an average drop of 15% in investment raised.

In 2022, Seedrs logged more than 141,000 individual investments on its private investment platform, helping 324 campaigns raise £550m, with 96 campaigns raising in excess of £1m.

Seedrs CEO Jeff Kelisky said: “There’s no denying that 2022 has been a year of obstacles. Rising inflation, volatile public markets, a looming global recession, the war in Ukraine, international energy crises and more have restricted post-pandemic recoveries.

“But, despite these significant headwinds, the Seedrs platform has continued to support some of the most innovative startups in Europe that are building the products and services that will shape the world of tomorrow.”