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Unilever to buy fishless tuna and imitation meatballs

Staff Writer |
Unilever said it has agreed to buy The Vegetarian Butcher, a fast growing Dutch producer of plant-based meat replacements such as vegetarian hamburgers, imitation meatballs and fishless tuna.

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The takeover, for an undisclosed sum, fits the Anglo-Dutch group’s strategy of increasing its range of plant-based foods, as consumers increasingly tend to eat less meat out of health and environmental concerns.

De Vegetarische Slager, as the company is known in Dutch, was founded in 2007 by farmer Jaap Korteweg, who together with scientists and chefs aimed to create plant substitutes that could rival the taste and texture of real meat.

The company’s products are sold in over 4,000 stores in 17 countries, and Korteweg last year said sales had increased to over 10 million euros ($11.4 million).

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