VFC Clive's

VFC was launched in 2020 by Veganuary and Veg Capital founder Matthew Glover and Adam Lyons

VFC Foods has further expanded its roster of plant-based offerings with the acquisition of vegan pie brand Clive’s Purely Plants for an undisclosed sum.

The move follows the rescue of Meatless Farm in June, which diversified VFC from supplying meat-free chicken into a wider range of alternative protein sources.

The acquisition of Clive’s also gives VFC a production facility in Dartmouth, the group’s first move into primary manufacturing.

VFC said the “substantial” production capacity and potential for innovation meant the company was “poised for significant growth” in the category.

Clive’s was owned by VFC investor Veg Capital following a 2021 deal and supplies a range of plant-based pies, savoury tarts, quiches and nut roasts to the likes of Waitrose and Ocado.

VFC CEO Dave Sparrow, who was also a non-executive director at Clive’s, said the acquisition positioned the group as “a formidable player in the market”.

“With three strong brands experiencing substantial growth, we are well positioned to further penetrate the retail and foodservice sectors in the UK and Europe.

“What excites us the most is the diverse range of products we can offer consumers, from enticing meat alternatives to wholesome and delicious vegetable-based options, making us one of the most diversified players in the category.”

Clive’s MD Esther Pearson, who will remain as a shareholder, added: “We are thrilled to have found a like-minded partner in VFC Foods to support us through this period of accelerated growth.

“We are committed to maintaining business as usual with all existing customers and ensuring that we uphold our high standards of customer service.”

Veganuary and Veg Capital founder Matthew Glover launched VFC in 2020, alongside co-founder Adam Lyons, as a meat-free rival to KFC.

The business raised £6m in seed capital earlier this year to fuel expansion plans in a round led by Veg Capital.

“Reducing meat consumption is crucial for a healthier and more sustainable future, and consumers are increasingly seeking varied options in the plant-based aisle, including high-quality vegetable-based products,” Sparrow added.

“Clive’s perfectly complements our portfolio and enhances our ability to meet this growing demand.”