THIS range

This has grown to be the largest independently owned meat-free brand in the UK

This is returning to the crowd for the final time ahead of a major funding round planned for later this year as it seeks to continuing supercharging growth and move into profitability.

Revenues at the plant-based brand soared 48% to £19m in 2023, despite the widely publicised difficulties in the category, with annualised sales hitting £22m by December, This co-founder Andy Shovel told The Grocer.

This – which makes ‘hyper-realistic’ meat alternative products – opened pre-registration for the Seedrs crowd campaign this week, with the round to go public by the end of the month.

The raise will be a convertible round, with investors seeing their backing converting to equity at the bigger financing planned for later in 2024 that is expected to total eight figures.

This, which has already raised £12m from more than 4,000 Seedrs investors, said the round would “probably” be its last ever crowdfund as it looks to turn a quarterly profit for the first time by the end of the year.

The new funding will be used to support further growth in the UK and internationally, bolster marketing campaigns and increase efficiencies in manufacturing and R&D. Cash will also be used to support the launch of a new range of ‘healthier’ products, based on wholefood ingredients, high in protein and minimally processed.

“Hopefully, the quality and extent of our product development efforts are clear to see, on the basis that we have managed to grow so much in a tougher trading environment,” Shovel said.

Shovel and co-founder Pete Sharman, who launched the business in 2019, are stepping back as co-CEOs next week as new boss Mark Cuddigan takes the reins.

“Looking forward to the rest of this year and beyond, having a pro like Mark leading us into our next phase of growth is massively exciting and important,” Shovel added.

“Pete and I realised that whilst we’re semi-decent early-stage founders, there are probably better and more experienced CEOs out there who could take This from £20m sales to £100m-plus. We already look up to Mark after only a few months of knowing him. We can’t wait to see what heights he takes our baby up to.”

Cuddigan said he looked forward to leading the business from SME to “plant-based powerhouse”. “With a brand that consumers love and a mission to make food more sustainable, we have the chance to make lots and lots of positive change at This,” he added.

This has grown to be the largest independently owned meat-free brand in the UK, outpacing all other brands in the top 20, with most of the big businesses in decline, according to the latest Top Products Survey in The Grocer.

This attributed its 2023 performance to increased retail growth and presence in store, a launch into the Netherlands and a boost to brand awareness to 28% of the UK population.

Since January 2024, the business recorded one of its biggest-ever sales weeks, driven by in-store activations, Veganuary consumer demand and new product launches.

This, which was named as UK food and drink’s fastest-growing brand last year in the Alantra annual Fast 50, has raised £35m from institutional and crowdfunding investors since 2019.