Oggs products

Source: Oggs 

The deal will see Upfield take a stake in Oggs’ British owner Alternative Foods

Plant-based giant and Flora owner Upfield has entered into a strategic partnership with UK-based egg alternative producer and vegan bakery brand Oggs.

The partnership includes Upfield taking a minority stake in Oggs owner Alternative Foods, which was established in 2019 and offers a range of bakery products and liquid egg alternatives including the Oggs Aquafaba liquid egg alternative and its Scrambled Oggs product.

Upfield said the “collaborative partnership” would provide an opportunity “to accelerate towards a more sustainable, natural plant-based food system – a transition that forms part of the core strategy for both companies”.

Upfield and Oggs will work together to expedite the growth of the company’s products by leveraging Upfield’s global distribution network and food service channel, Upfield Professional, it added.

The partnership will also enable further R&D innovation in liquid egg alternatives and the plant-based protein category through collaboration with Upfield’s €50m Food Science Centre in the Netherlands, which opened last year.

The two businesses already had synergies in the way their products had significantly lower carbon footprints than dairy and egg equivalents, Upfield claimed.

The plant-based giant, which was spun out of Unilever in 2018, had also pledged to be 95% plastic free by 2030 and to display carbon footprint labels on half a billion products by 2025, it added, while the “similarly, environmentally aware Oggs” had planted 6,000 trees and protected 60,000 trees in association with carbon offset company, 8 Billion Trees.

“Our vision for ‘A Better Plant-Based Future’ means we are dedicated to ensuring consumers have a range of choices to try plant-based diets,” said Upfield group CEO David Haines.

“This partnership takes us into a new category of plant-based protein, enables us to offer even more options and we expect strong, sustainable growth,” he added.

“We have been aware of the innovative technology that Oggs has been perfecting and we’re excited to become part of that and help drive the plant-based egg category forward through the combination of our global footprint and growing food service sector.”

The move follows the acquisition by Upfield of plant-based cheese alternative brand Violife and its Greek owner Arivia for £500m in January 2020.

Responding to the announcement, Hannah Carter, the founder and CEO of Alternative Foods, said: “We are on a mission to remove unnecessary animal products from the food chain to improve the planet and animal welfare; i.e. the use of animal products that don’t provide nutritional benefit, such as egg white in bread.

“Our egg alternative range offers consumers tasty plant-based egg alternatives, and Oggs provides food service and manufactures a viable liquid egg alternative for the first time, no longer limiting innovation.”

With Upfield as a partner, “we can scale up distribution and awareness of our Oggs egg alternative range, Aquafaba and Scrambled Oggs and create positive change faster than we can achieve on our own”, she added.