Tofoo Full_range_

Tofoo Co is readying its newest NPD to be launched into supermarkets next month as it extends into seitan

The Tofoo Co has hired advisors to explore strategic options as it prepares for its next phase of growth, The Grocer has learned.

Investment bankers at Piper Sandler are in the early stages of a process to weigh up interest in the fast-growing tofu brand, according to City sources. All options are being explored, from securing growth capital to an outright sale.

Husband and wife David Knibbs and Lydia Smith founded the brand in 2016 after buying a small artisan tofu maker in the North Yorkshire market town of Malton.

The company makes its tofu blocks to a traditional Japanese recipe, and won major listings with Tesco and Ocado the same year, before expanding into all the major retailers and convenience stores.

Growing appetite for meat-free options and increased consumer awareness of how to cook with tofu has supercharged sales growth.

Revenues, which stood at £500k in 2016, surpassed £20m in 2023 and are forecast to be in double-digit growth in 2024. The brand also received a boost earlier this year when it featured on an episode of Rick Stein’s Food Stories on BBC Two.

In 2023, Tofoo Co defied a 6.5% value decline in the wider meat alternatives category to grow sales by 8.3%, according to The Grocer’s annual Top Products Survey. That meant it outperformed the likes of Quorn, Linda McCartney’s, Richmond and Cauldron.

According to new category data, the brand is now the second biggest player in the chilled meat-free space behind Quorn with a 10.5% market share [NIQ 12 w/e 24 February 2024]. It is also the fastest-growing brand and its naked blocks are the category’s bestselling SKU.

Tofoo Co is currently readying its newest NPD – an extension into seitan, a high-protein vegan meat alternative made from wheat gluten – to be launched into supermarkets next month.

Tofoo Co and Piper Sandler declined to comment.