Plant Based

JBS S.A. acquires plant-based company Vivera

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Vivera products on supermarket shelf

By Stef Bottinelli

Meat company JBS S.A. has announced the acquisition of plant-based food company Vivera.

The Brazilian beef and poultry giant has entered into an agreement to purchase Vivera for €341 million.

The move marks a significant expansion of JBS S.A.’s interest in the plant-based food market.
In 2020 the manufacturer launched a range of plant-based foods in the USA – Planterra – with the OZO brand; whilst in Brazil, JBS owns Seara’s Incrível, a range of plant-based hamburgers.

Launched in 1990 in the Netherlands, Vivera is the third largest plant-based food company in Europe, and the largest independent one. The company offers a wide range of plant-based products, including burgers, hot dogs, garlic kiev and mince, and is sold in 25 European countries. It has a strong presence in UK supermarkets and online, being sold in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Waitrose, Ocado and Morrisons in the UK.

vivera vegan burgers
Vivera offers a large selection of plant-based foods, including burgers. Image: Vivera

JBS intends to manage Vivera as a standalone business unit with its current leadership team to remain in place.

“This acquisition is an important step to strengthen our global plant-based protein platform,” said Gilberto Tomazoni, global CEO, JBS. “Vivera will give JBS a stronghold in the plant-based sector, with technological knowledge and capacity for innovation.”

“Joining forces with JBS gives us access to significant resources and capabilities to accelerate our current strong growth trajectory and Vivera brand expansion,” said Willem van Weede, CEO, Vivera.

The deal was signed off by the JBS board of directors and will be completed after approval by antitrust authorities.

Founded in 1953 in Brazil, JBS S.A. is the largest meat processing company in the world. JBS follows in the footsteps of Unilever, who acquired The Vegetarian Butcher in 2018, and Pinnacle Foods, who added vegan food company Gardein to their portfolio in 2014.

With over £1bn sales of plant-based food in the UK alone in 2020 and over half a million people worldwide taking part in Veganuary in 2021 – up by 200,000 compared to the previous year – large food manufacturers are keen to expand into the vegan food market.

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