British alt meat brand THIS has announced two new developments — an investment from the UK’s largest commercial television broadcaster, ITV, and a collaboration with pie brand Pieminister.
As part of its Media for Equity programme, ITV will subscribe for £1.5 million of shares in THIS, with the option to subscribe for two additional tranches of £1.5 million each. In return, the plant-based meat brand will receive advertising inventory on the broadcaster’s channels and streaming service. It marks the first time ITV has ever invested in a food company.
The news follows a string of successes for THIS in 2023, including an international launch in the Netherlands, listings at Boots and WHSmith, and the recent launch of plant-based roast chicken for the holiday season. Earlier this year, THIS was named the UK’s fastest-growing food or drinks company by Alantra.
“ITV is a media powerhouse, and to have them as an investor, especially as their first food business investment, is super exciting. Not only did we get to make the porkiest plant-based TV ad ever, the scale of the investment means that we can reach audiences across the country and get closer to making meat-free the norm,” said Andy Shovel, co-founder and co-CEO of THIS.
THIS has also recently announced a partnership with UK pie brand Pieminister; together, the two companies have launched the new THIS Isn’t a Chicken and Bacon Pie. The pie contains plant-based meat by THIS in a smoky, creamy sauce, encased in flaky pastry. It is said to be ideal for “the most carnivorous flexitarians”, as well as vegans and vegetarians.
The new option adds to Pieminister’s range of plant-based pies, which also includes the Mooless Moo (jackfruit “steak” and ale), the Kevin (chestnut mushroom, tomato, and quinoa), and the Maroc Star (a Moroccan-inspired filo pie). The brand also offers vegan gravy.
“We are super excited to team up with Pieminister to launch our first ever pie,” said Andy Shovel. “It’s delicious, meaty, and quite frankly a piece of pie-fection — this sort of genius has not been seen since Piethagoras.”
The new pie has already launched at some Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stores, as well as online via Ocado. It is also available at Pieminister’s restaurants UK-wide.alt meat meat chicken plant-based alt shares investment