UK plant-based food company This has received investment worth £20m to accelerate its UK growth and expand its meat alternative product range.

The fast-growing company has announced the completion of a £20m Series C equity fundraising round, led by sustainable investment firm Planet First Partners.

This will will use the capital to accelerate growth in its UK home market through launches of new product ranges to cater to evolving consumer health preferences, whilst continuing to boost profitability on its core products.

The company expects to continue to gain market share with a strategy led by the new CEO, Mark Cuddigan, who joined in January having previously been CEO of Ella’s kitchen.

The fundraising takes the total amount raised by the brand since 2019 to £35m from institutional and crowdfunding investors, including BGF, Backed VC, Five Seasons Ventures, Idinvest Partners, ECG Research, CJ Corporation, Manta Ray Ventures, Kreos Capital, Seedcamp, ITV and footballer Chris Smalling.

Last year, This grew revenue by nearly 50% to become the third-largest meat alternative brand in the UK.

The supplier has also has recently also streamlined its operations, consolidating its production from seventeen sites down to just three, with ongoing operational enhancements continuing to improve gross margins every quarter.

Plant First Partners said the investment, which is its first in the ‘farm 2 fork’ space, represented its “commitment to scale businesses which directly contribute to the climate transition”.

The Planet First Partners is spearheaded by executive chairman Frédéric de Mévius. Prior to establishing Planet First Partners in 2020, he founded Verlinvest, an investment vehicle known for building brands such as Oatly and Vita Coco.

Planet First Partners will take two seats on the board of This following the investment.

Mark Cuddigan, CEO of This commented: “We are excited to welcome Planet First Partners into the THIS™ family. Our partnership will be key as we continue to lead a revolution through our plant-based food to protect animals and the environment, growing brand love to become market leaders in the UK.”

Frédéric de Mévius added: “We are thrilled to partner with THIS™ and support its mission to revolutionise the food industry. We believe the company is uniquely placed to capitalise on growing consumer preferences for sustainable and healthy food alternatives, whilst supporting the environment.

“I am personally excited to put my experience as a consumer investor behind a sustainable brand that is totally aligned with our fund’s sustainability objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

News of the investment comes after the supplier became the third sandwich manufacturer to withdraw products due to possible contamination with e.coli yesterday.

The Food Standards Authority said This had taken the “precautionary step” of recalling a chicken & bacon wrap because of possible contamination.