Maple Leaf acquires Lightlife

Canada’s leading packaged meat producer just acquired Lightlife. And so the plant-protein revolution continues!
Light life chick'n tenders in a salad

Quick recap: A little more than two years ago, Pinnacle Foods acquired Gardein, and Monde Nissin acquired Quorn. Four months ago, Tyson Foods blew everyone’s minds by buying a 5-percent stake in Beyond Meat. 

Today, Canada’s leading packaged meat producer acquired Lightlife in a $140 million deal.

And so the plant-protein revolution continues! 

In case you missed it, Lightlife Foods is a major power player in the plant-based foods market. That’s not hyperbole: Lightlife owns 38 percent of the U.S. market share for refrigerated plant proteins. So yes, a major player. 

Lightlife has mastered plant-protein across the entire spectrum, from classic tempeh to its trending Teriyaki Smart Jerky. Now, Maple Leaf Foods is taking the work of these protein savants and making it more accessible than ever. 

Expanding into the fast growing plant-based proteins market is one of Maple Leaf’s strategic growth platforms and supports our commitment to become a leader in sustainability. Consumers are increasingly looking to diversify their protein consumption, including plant-based options. 

Michael McCain, President and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf cited additional motivations including animal welfare, environmental sustainability, food security, and nutrition for its acquisition. 

At The Good Food Institute, we couldn’t be more excited to see the meat industry transforming from the inside out and using its vast resources to create a healthier, more humane, and more sustainable future.

The plant-protein industry doesn’t have to rely on ethical arguments for adoption, either: The U.S. market for plant-based proteins is estimated at $600 million, with the refrigerated category representing more than $110 million and delivering double-digit annual growth.

As the animal-meat industry continues to wise up to the popularity of meat from plants, I’m expecting news of new investments and acquisitions to keep this blogger very busy!

To learn more about how GFI supports the growth of the plant-based foods market, read up on what we do!


The good food institute icon in white on a seaweed circle background

Emily Byrd

Header image courtesy of Lightlife