chicken
VFC specialises in vegan protein products made to resemble chicken.
Jane Imrie

York vegan 'chicken' firm takes bite out of international markets with North American expansion

A York food business specialising in plant-based ‘chicken’ has expanded across the pond.

Vegan protein specialist VFC has today announced its expansion into North America as part of its global growth.

In the US, Rick Hirsch is leading the launch, focusing initially on foodservice along the west coast before expanding geographically and into retail.

In Canada, VFC has partnered with Gaynor Fletcher’s team at Vegan Foods Wholesale who will be the exclusive broker and distributor for the entire country, and will be distributing to retail as well as wholesale.

VFC was initially founded in the UK in December 2020 by Matthew Glover - co-founder of Veganuary - and chef and restaurateur Adam Lyons.

Rick Hirsch commented: “VFC offers compassionate and delicious food that is good for the planet, good for animals and good for our bodies. Indulgent food without guilt.

“VFC is not just for vegans and vegetarians, but for everyone. 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.”

Gaynor Fletcher explained: “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.

“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.”

Stewart McGuckin, VFC’s director of sales, added: “I am delighted to be working with both Rick and Gaynor who bring an unrivalled 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 growth is fast, determined and strategic. The only KPI that matters to us is the number of chickens spared, and our attention is firmly fixed on growing that number as fast as possible.”

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