Meat-free start-up Daring Foods secures debut deal

Daring Foods co-founders Eliott Kessas (left) and Ross Mackay with ambassadors the 'Kardashi-hens'. Picture: Contributed
Daring Foods co-founders Eliott Kessas (left) and Ross Mackay with ambassadors the 'Kardashi-hens'. Picture: Contributed
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A Glasgow-based start-up offering meat-free food products has landed its debut distribution deal as it targets annual revenues in excess of £7 million.

Daring Foods, which provides plant-based alternatives to meat and fish, has unveiled a contract with wholesaler Lomond Fine Foods which will see its range sold in 300 locations in the first quarter.

The firm, founded by entrepreneur Ross Mackay and former corporate banker Eliott Kessas, is now targeting revenues of more than £7m in its first year of trading, and has increased production at its research and development facility in Europe.

It has also created a bespoke Daring Foods menu for the food services industry, which will be available in 35 Scottish location by the end of January.

This number is anticipated to “reach 1,000 by the end of the year”, according to the business.

The company also said it is poised to announce a deal with a supermarket chain to make its range available nationwide and capitalise on the UK’s plant-based food market, which “grew by 700 per cent last year”.

Daring Foods’ dairy and egg-free range, which includes “moo-free” and “cluck-free” burgers, is made from wheat and potato protein and contains no palm oil or genetically modified organisms.

According to firm, its products focus on reducing environmental impact, with its red meat-alternative burger requiring 75 per cent less water and 92 per cent less land usage than beef, while generating 85 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Ross Mackay, co-founder of Daring Foods, said: “I’m naturally excited to announce our partnership with Lomond Foods, which represents the first step in Daring Foods becoming one of the UK’s fastest-growing food firms and a major force in the plant-based food market.

“As society makes the inevitable shift to a more plant-based diet, we are now well placed to create and deliver options by creating delicious, nutritious and sustainable foods directly from plants.

“The market is there for the taking – in terms of taste, none of the current alternatives come close to meat.

“In general, consumers are becoming more aware than ever before of the effects that animal derived products are having on our planet, their bodies and the plight of animals. We can help contribute to a more sustainable future and make steps towards removing animals from our food system entirely.”

Sam Henderson, managing director at Lomond Fine Foods, said: “We are delighted to be the sole distributor of Daring products in Scotland.

“Daring Foods is an innovative company that has developed a delicious plant-based range that can be enjoyed in main stream outlets by vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians alike.

“Caterers across all sectors are being asked for products that fit vegan, religious or health constraints. In partnership with Daring Foods, Lomond Foods is confident sales will rise dramatically throughout 2019 and beyond.”

Daring Foods is currently working with business advisory firm Johnston Carmichael to facilitate and plan for the high levels of growth it expects in the coming year.