Strong Roots teams up with McCain Foods to grow plant-based range globally
Irish plant-based frozen food company Strong Roots has teamed up with McCain Foods, the family-owned world leader in frozen potato specialties and appetizers, to meet rising consumer demand for healthy and natural food.
The companies have announced a strategic partnership, with McCain Foods investing $55 million USD in Strong Roots to take a minority stake in the business.
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. 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 the UK, Ireland and 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, natural and simple meals that are tasty and 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 to be awarded a B Corp Certificate in 2020.
Samuel Dennigan, Strong Roots Founder and CEO, said:“As food producers, our role is to be better, food can be better, and our duty is to lead the betterment of ingredients, sourcing, packaging, process and taste, at the same time as working with our partners to achieve this.
“Working in partnership with McCain Foods means that we are able to grow our brand and the values it stands for, while providing us at Strong Roots with the resources and capabilities we need to see change through globally and impactfully.”
Max Koeune, President & CEO of McCain Foods, said: “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.”
Howard Snape, Regional President of McCain GB & Ireland, said: “As a family-run business, we take a long-term approach to everything we do, whether that’s focusing on making our products in a sustainable way to support the planet, or ensuring our food continues to meet constantly changing consumer needs.
“Strong Roots is a company that not only focuses strongly on sustainability but is also doing incredible work to grow the range of healthy frozen foods available when consumers are looking for it most.”
The strategic partnership follows several years of rapid growth for Strong Roots since it was set up in 2015. The food producer’s range of cauliflower hash browns, mixed root vegetable fries, bites and burgers have become a firm favourite for consumers in Ireland, the UK and the US looking for plant-based options.
For McCain Foods has made a series of investments in recent years to meet changing consumer tastes globally, including 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 sustainable leafy greens.
Goode Partners LLC, a New York-based consumer private equity fund, which led the Series A investment in Strong Roots, is exiting the Board of Strong Roots and selling its shareholding, marking a successful exit for the investors.