Maple Leaf Foods Reduces Plant-Based Greenleaf Division by 25% Following Decrease in Demand

Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s largest meat producers, says it is downsizing its plant-based foods division, Greenleaf Foods, by 25% following consecutive quarters of disappointing sales.

The company, which owns vegan food brands Field Roast and Lightlife, reports its Plant Protein sales fell by over 18% year-over-year to CAD $40.8 million due to lower retail volumes, reports Food Dive. Nonprofitable investments into expanding growth infrastructure also reduced gross margins by 24.7%.

Large investments

Known primarily for its processed meat business, Maple Leaf strategically invested in alternative proteins by acquiring plant-based foods brands Lightlife, Field Roast and Chao in 2017. The following year, it launched Greenleaf Foods SPC as a subdivision to accelerate the growth of the plant-based category. In 2019, it unveiled plans to construct the largest plant protein manufacturing facility in North America, followed by plans for a $100M tempeh factory in Indianapolis, IN. In late 2020, Maple Leaf reported its plant-based protein sales were growing at a higher percentage rate than the brand’s animal proteins. 

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