McCain Foods invests $55 million in plant-based frozen food producer Strong Roots
Strong Roots, a leading plant-based frozen food company, and McCain Foods, a family-owned world leader in frozen potato specialties and appetizers, have announced a strategic partnership. The partnership includes McCain investing $55 million in Strong Roots to take a minority stake in the business. The agreement enables Strong Roots and McCain Foods to continue meeting the rising consumer demand for healthy and natural food globally. Strong Roots and McCain Foods will work together to leverage both companies’ complementary strengths to continue Strong Roots’ rapid growth and further its mission to “fix the freezer aisle” and provide plant-based, environmentally responsible, positive food choices, for everyone — globally and impactfully. Strong Roots will continue to operate in an independent capacity. Strong Roots will use McCain Foods’ global presence to expand its own footprint in existing markets — including Great Britain, Ireland and the United States — and to enter new markets working with new retailers. The partnership will also allow Strong Roots to expand into the foodservice market through McCain Foods’ out-of-home network. Partnering with Strong Roots, McCain Foods will gain an expanded product portfolio that reaches out to the rising number of consumers looking for healthy and simple meals that include real fruits and vegetables.
The partnership also bolsters McCain Foods’ commitment to planet-friendly foods. Strong Roots is focused on creating products that are sustainably farmed, shipped and sold, and was the first Irish plant-based food business awarded a B Corp Certificate in 2020. Through a press release, Max Koeune, president and CEO of McCain Foods, stated: “Since the McCain family founded McCain Foods in 1957, our entrepreneurial roots and passionate focus on creating the best tasting food has led to us being at the centre of mealtimes for generations. “That’s why we’re so excited to be partnering with Strong Roots, a company that not only aligns with our innovative approach to creating food, but also helps us grow our portfolio of healthier food that meets changing consumer demands in a sustainable way. We’re looking forward to working with Samuel and the Strong Roots team to help bring a healthy range into more homes across the world.”
The partnership follows several years of rapid growth for Strong Roots since its inception in 2015. The food producer’s range of cauliflower hash browns, mixed root vegetable fries, bites and burgers, became a firm favorite of people in Ireland, the UK and the U.S., looking for a convenient plant-based option. For McCain Foods, the announcement complements a series of investments in recent years ensuring the leading food producer continues to meet the changing consumer tastes globally. Examples include its investment in The Simple Root, a plant-based food producer offering dairy alternative products, SIMULATE, a plant-based chicken nugget alternative, and GoodLeaf Farms, an indoor vertical farming company that grows nutritious, delicious and sustainable leafy greens. New York-based consumer private equity fund Goode Partners LLC led the Series A investment in Strong Roots.