Watch out KFC – beloved vegan fried chicken company VFC just announced that it will begin expanding into the United States market. The United Kingdom-based vegan protein company will soon be available in the North American fast-food sector, expanding its company distribution to restaurants and retailers across Canada and the US. Following significant growth across Europe, VFC decided that it aimed to enter the rapidly growing plant-based chicken market in the United States. The company will begin distributing its Chick*n Fillets, Bites, and Popcorn Chick*n at quick-service restaurants across North America.
“The US gave the world KFC, and we’re keen to return the favor with VFC – an alternative which is kinder to animals and our planet,” VFC Founder Matthew Glover told Plant Based News. “We’re thrilled to enter the US foodservice market. Since launching in the UK only last year, we have gone from strength to strength with huge demand from both retailers and restaurants, with added interest from over 50 other countries. This goes to show that we have a brand and a product that people really love and that we are ready to shift up a gear.”
VFC unveiled its new bulk packages that come at 22lbs of vegan chicken per box. The bulk packages will offer restaurants in Canada and the US the chance to purchase plant-based protein products at wholesale price, intending to accelerate the spread and introduction of vegan chicken. Following the positive customer response and the rapid rise of sales within Spain and the Netherlands, the company expanded its team to reach the North American Market.
The plant-based fried chicken brand hired Rick Hirsch to lead VFC’s entry into the US market. The new US vice president will initially focus on the foodservice sector in the western United States before eventually expanding nationwide and into the retail market.
“VFC offers compassionate and delicious food that is good for the planet, good for animals, and good for our bodies. VFC is not just for vegans and vegetarians, but for everyone,” Hirsch said. “That is a game-changer. I think the marketplace is going to respond fantastically to the food and the message. I have been in this industry for almost 40 years and have helped launch many brands, but none as exciting and timely as VFC.”
The plant-based company will also begin its distribution in Canada simultaneously. VFC partnered with distribution company Vegan Food Wholesale to be the exclusive broker and distributor for Canada.
“Our interest in partnering with VFC isn’t just a business decision, it’s more about being part of the VFC ethos and sharing their vision to call a halt to animal suffering and abuse on a global scale.” Vice President of Sales Canada Gaynor Fletcher said. “We applaud VFC’s mission to remove animals from an unjust, unevolved food system and feel privileged to be working with a brand, unapologetic in its intention to put an end to factory farming.”
Glover is also responsible for launching the Veganuary initiative that aims to promote plant-based eating worldwide. Currently, the plant-based campaign is supported by millions of participants from over 200 countries, pushing for vegan provisions to become more prominent in all levels of the food sector. The plant-based entrepreneur also works with his investment firm Veg Capital to support vegan companies and start-ups everywhere. Currently, the firm has helped launch more than 25 plant-based companies.
The company believes that entering the North American market will propel the company into the international spotlight. VFC’s debut in Canada and the US will allow the company to tackle two of the largest poultry markets in the world. A recent report from SPINS found that the plant-based chicken market is growing at nearly 18 percent, while the animal-based poultry industry has only grown 4 percent. The significant rise gives VFC reason to tackle the increasingly popular plant-based chicken market in the US.
“I am delighted to be working with both Rick and Gaynor who bring an unrivaled passion and experience to support us on our critical mission to save as many animals as possible in two of the biggest markets for chicken products in the world,” VFC’s Director of Sales Stewart McGuckin said “VFC’s growth is fast, determined, and strategic. The only KPI [key performance indicator] that matters to us is the number of chickens spared, and our attention is firmly fixed on growing that number as fast as possible.”