Alternative food producer Meeat sells plant proteins that it processes to resemble meat products, and also develops plant-based foods of the future. With the help of growth financing, Meeat aims to win markets in Europe for its MUU products.
Concerns about climate warming and the need to make food production based on animal proteins more sustainable have fuelled people’s interest in plant-based protein sources. Global food production is a significant source of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and alternative proteins are one way of reducing the GHG emissions caused by food production.
Meeat’s mission is to make eating meat unnecessary by making plant-based eating both easy and delicious, eliminating the need to eat meat. The company’s goal is to make such good products that they replace meat completely.
What and how?
Meeat’s guiding principle in developing its MUU products is that consumers are pragmatic and safety-conscious when buying food products. Ingrained purchasing habits and behavioural trends are difficult to change: if a consumer has eaten sausage every day throughout their life, the threshold for changing to plant protein is very high. MUU products and their texture are created to be as similar as possible to familiar processed meat products, making the transition to plant proteins easy and their taste as close as possible to familiar tastes.
Meeat started out with the insight that the same machinery and equipment used for processing meat can also be used for plant-based products. The term “plant meat” was born, and although it was prohibited in advertising, MUU products quickly filled Finns’ shopping baskets. Converting production facilities to plant production is Meeat’s core expertise.
Growth and internationalisation
Many of the plant proteins on the market are cooking ingredients that require preparation when making a meal. Meeat’s highly-developed MUU plant-protein products stand out from the crowd, and have triggered demand abroad, as well as in Finland. Meeat aims to be the Nordic leader in plant-protein products, so the Baltic is a key market. Germany and the UK have also been identified as markets with the most growth potential, though, so Meeat is now focusing on these countries in its internationalisation strategy.
Much of the company’s identity is replicating the operating model piloted in Finland to other markets and adapting the products to local tastes. Utilising technology-related knowhow and the importance of product development – for instance, in developing new types of products with minimal processing – are important drivers of growth.
The importance of growth capital
Meeat secured an EUR eight million funding round in May 2022. At first closing Swiss investor Emerald Technology Ventures, Tesi, and Finnish KVKI Capital had invested in the company. The growth financing now raised will allow Meeat to strengthen its position in the growing plant-protein market and to start expanding internationally.
Tesi co-invests in startups and growth companies as a minority investor, hand-in-hand with private investors and on the same market terms as them. Tesi’s role as a venture capital and private equity investor is to help Finnish startups and growth companies succeed. In this way, together with our co-investors, we create Finland’s new global success stories.
The business idea for plant-based MUU protein products was first mooted in 2019, and Meeat Food Tech Ltd was established in October 2020. The company first operated under the Pouttu tradename. After the 2022 funding round, Meeat has increased its pace. The company’s net sales have climbed from EUR three million to nearly EUR ten million over the last three years.