Palace Culture - credit Milly Fletcher

Compleat plans to push Palace Culture into the supermarkets (photo credit: Milly Fletcher)

The Compleat Food Group has expanded its plant-based portfolio with the acquisition of organic vegan cheesemaker Palace Culture for an undisclosed sum.

It adds to the chilled group’s existing plant-based brands Squeaky Bean and Vadasz.

Palace Culture was established in April 2018 by founder Mirko Parmigiani, who aimed to create sustainable plant-based cheeses for his dairy intolerant son.

Distribution has since grown from a stall at Crystal Palace farmers’ market in London to a host of independent shops and distributors across the capital and the rest of the UK. It also has listings with Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic, Selfridges and Abel & Cole.

Palace Culture makes a range of cheese alternatives, including ‘Truffled Camemvert’, ‘The Mouldy Goaty’ and ‘Sacré Bleu’. It also makes a variety of ‘cream cheeze’ in jars.

Compleat aims to use its brand and innovation experience to support Palace Culture’s growth and expansion by gaining national listings in major UK retailers.

“Palace Culture was a natural choice to add to our portfolio of leading and distinctive brands that always bring something unique to the table, due to its high quality, exciting product offering and potential for growth,” said Yvonne Adam, Compleat Food Group chief marketing officer.

“All of this supports our wider strategy and ambition to become the UK’s number-one chilled prepared food company.

“Plant-based cheese is a fast-growing, but relatively untapped, market and there is plenty of consumer appetite for genuinely delicious vegan cheeses. We’re now looking forward to using our expertise and scale to introduce shoppers to Palace Culture’s unique range of incredibly tasty products that we know they will love, and we hope to able to announce additional listings shortly.”

Parmigiani added: “Born from our family kitchen in Crystal Palace, I combined a love of flavour, and a passion for health and sustainability, to create nut-based cheeses using raw ingredients. The result has been a range of award-winning delicious plant-based cheeses, and we’re extremely proud of the success the brand has had to date.

“Having seen how The Compleat Food Group has worked with the likes of Vadasz to retain its authenticity and incredible quality, we’re excited for the next chapter of Palace Culture’s evolution and to use The Compleat Food Group’s expertise to continue to innovate and introduce even more people to the world of plant-based vegan cheeses.”

Compleat was formed in 2021 after French PE firm PAI Partners combined Addo Food and Winterbotham Darby to create a chilled foods platform.

It bolted on pie maker Wrights Food Group in 2021 and more recently picked up assets from the collapsed pork pie maker Vale of Mowbray.

The group, which also owns the Pork Farms, Wall’s Pastry and Unearthed brands, employs more than 3,500 staff across 10 sites, generating annual revenues of about £700m.