The brook

Source: The Brook

The Brook made its debut in retail in 2019

Vegan ready meal brand The Brook has closed its business following a “more-than-challenging” six months.

In a LinkedIn post this week, the brand’s CEO Thea Brook said the business had “battled hard through one economic crisis after another” since its launch in 2019.

Over the past six months, however, it had “seen many of our fresh ingredients double in price, our transport costs almost triple and our energy bills more than quadruple”.

Additionally, funding was “scarce”, and investors weren’t “rushing to back consumer goods brands that require a cold supply chain”, wrote Brook.

The business had agreed to an acquisition deal at the beginning of the summer. However, the buyer pulled out at the last minute, “leaving us with no choice but to close the business”, Brook added.

Speaking to The Grocer, Brook said that “pretty much everybody” in the industry was struggling. 

“One person described it as like being in the Hunger Games at the moment. It’s really, really tough on businesses. 

“The message we kept hitting was that all the money that was available [to vegan businesses] was going into meat alternatives”.

As a result, the plant-based category as a whole was becoming “very out of balance”.

“I think we’re going to end up with a lot of these new meats coming out, but not necessarily the customer adoption, because they’re not being given those bridge consumer products in the middle that they need to adopt them,” said Brook.

The Brook made its debut in retail in 2019 with dishes based on meals sold at founder Brook’s eponymous restaurant in Wallington. Brook made the decision to close the restaurant permanently during the pandemic to focus on the online business.