Meat-free trend brings huge success for Tofoo business


Malton-based food manufacturer, The Tofoo Co, has increased its turnover by 200% this year since 2017, following a boom in the meat-free food industry.

Having seen accelerated growth since the company launch, The Tofoo Co turned over an impressive £4.8m in 2018 and is forecast £7.5m in 2019. Tofoo is now the best-selling tofu in Britain, overtaking Cauldron, and its Naked Tofoo has become the third best-selling line in the entire meat free category with only Quorn Cocktail Sausages and Cauldron Falafel outselling it.

The tofu brand, run by husband and wife team David Knibbs and Lydia Smith, started as a small, family-run business only three years ago and has since grown rapidly to 58 employees with products now sold in major supermarkets including Waitrose, Sainsburys, Tesco, Co-op and Ocado. Launching with the aim of being the ‘tofu for all’, the team set out to build a fun and engaging brand that would inspire people to understand the many benefits of incorporating tofu into different types of meals.

Knibbs, founder and managing director of The Tofoo Co, said: “Consumers are becoming more aware as to what is in their food, and also the impact their diet has on the environment. We’re extremely proud of the fantastic response we’ve had from customers since we launched our organic tofu three years ago, and that our distinctive offering has lead us to be the leading tofu brand in the UK.”

The meat-substitute market has rocketed over recent years with almost half of UK adults choosing to avoid certain foods or ingredients and 39% regularly buying free from food and drink. As well as a rising number of vegans and vegetarians, many Brits are cutting down their meat intake by adopting flexitarianism or trends like ‘meat-free Mondays’, and the UK is also witnessing a drive towards healthy eating and sustainability that food brands are needing to give serious attention to.  Off the back of this, many brands have stepped into the market providing plant-based products to meet consumer demands.  

With competition now high The Tofoo Co launched in 2016 with its unique proposition to start a tofu revolution, and only two products in its range: the Naked and Smoked Tofoo. The interest for high quality, great tasting tofu has allowed it build a loyal following and since extend the range to six different SKUs. The newly launched Crispy range consists of two oven products, further innovating the tofu market with the aim of making it convenient and accessible for all.

Knibbs continued: “We aim to cater for everyone by providing a product that is not only suitable for vegans and vegetarians but for meat-eaters too. Our Tofoo is unique in the marketplace, using only organic and sustainably sourced soya beans and handmade to a traditional Japanese recipe to create great tasting tofu every time.

“The business is growing faster than we could have imagined, and having launched three NPD’s in the last three months and with further growth on the horizon, it is an exciting time for The Tofoo Co.”

With no sign of the industry stagnating, The Tofoo Co are set for a large factory scale expansion in the autumn, and NPD introducing new flavors and exciting formats of tofu.