While plant-based sales continue to increase, so, too, is Canada’s Big Mountain Foods, which is expanding into a 70,000-square-foot facility after outgrowing its current 8,000-square-foot space. The new facility will provide the company with the tools and international reach to make its plant-based foods more accessible.
Owned and operated by Kimberly and Jasmine Chamberland, the natural vegan food manufacturer has made distribution partnerships with retail chains such as Loblaws which, paired with Big Mountain's local success, helped facilitate the move into the larger facility, which is located in Delta, British Columbia.
"I am so proud of the expansion Big Mountain Foods has undergone to get to this point, and we are ready to move forward into a larger facility with the top talent in place to execute our product outreach strategy across the USA, Canada and Asia over the next five years," said Kimberly Chamberland, CEO of Big Mountain Foods.
Founded in 1987, Big Mountain Foods makes natural vegan products out of real and fresh ingredients. The Vancouver-based manufacturer has been a supermarket mainstay since its inception, due to the quality of its plant-based products, which can be found at more than 6,000 retailer locations.
Female-owned Big Mountain Foods also aims to have the new facility be zero-waste by 2025. The company has made some progress in this area, as over the past two years, it has re-engineered its packaging, which now includes 40% less plastic and 25% less cardboard.
"With new brands entering the plant-based space, we're ready to expand our capacity and execute our vision to be the leader in clean eating while continuing to innovate allergen-free clean-label products with ingredients our customers know and love," said Jasmine Chamberland, president of Big Mountain Foods.
One of these innovations includes recently launched Veggie Links products introduced across Canada and the United States. The sausages, which come in styles from chorizo to bratwurst, are made from Saskatchewan-grown split peas — and, like all of Big Mountain Food's products, are certified-vegan; gluten-, nut- and soy-free; and non-GMO verified.
Plant-based foods have been experiencing a steady increase in popularity throughout the pandemic. In 2021 alone, there have been several major developments to bolster plant-based businesses. For example, Outstanding Foods raised $10 million in its January financing round to grow its plant-based snack portfolio.
In February, independent Canadian food retailer Organic Garage Ltd. entered into a definitive agreement to acquire plant-based cheese maker The Future of Cheese Co., a private Canadian corporation.
Modern Meat Inc. acquired plant-based soup Kitskitchen Health Foods Inc. to add to its artisan vegan lineup.
Additionally, global food and beverage company Danone and Earth Island, maker of Follow Your Heart plant-based foods, have entered into a share purchase agreement under which Danone will acquire 100% of Earth Island’s shares.
Loblaw Cos. Ltd. operates more than 2,400 stores in Canada. The Brampton, Ontario-based company is No. 13 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.