Better Nature has launched a £3 million Series A fundraising round to fuel mainstream retail growth for its tempeh range, beginning with a nationwide listing in over 400 Tesco stores.

The raise – which follows a £1.6 million seed round in 2021 and a £700k seed plus round late in 2022 – is being led by institutional investors, angels and value-add strategic investors  and will be used to drive retail and foodservice growth for its products in the UK and Europe, support existing listings and expand into more European countries and the US by 2025.

The funding will also help the brand with NPD to develop tempeh-based burgers, falafels and veggie balls to capitalise on growing demand for convenience in the category.

“With Better Nature set to grow 300% by the end of 2023, this raise consolidates our position as Europe’s go-to tempeh brand and marks the year we take tempeh mainstream in the UK,” says Better Nature co-founder Christopher Kong (pictured). “When we founded the brand four years ago, tempeh was a niche product in the UK market. Now, we’re launching into Tesco and scaling up wider distribution across retail and foodservice in  Europe.

This is a significant milestone in the brand’s journey to make tempeh mainstream

“The market is moving towards more natural and healthful products, which opens up a huge opportunity for Tempeh, which is 100% natural, gut-friendly, and packed with protein and fibre. As our customer base widens, getting the messaging right is key. We’re not trying to compete with meat alternatives, which mimic the texture and taste of meat. Instead, we’re celebrating tempeh as a plant-based protein in its own right. For shoppers who are new to tempeh, convenience is also important. Our NPD will be focused on introducing people to tempeh in tried and tested formats that are familiar and convenient.”

Adds non-executive director, Peter Marsh: “Over the course of my career I’ve been involved with a number of brands who have demonstrated genuine potential to go the distance. Better Nature is one of them. This is a significant milestone in the brand’s journey to make tempeh mainstream, and we are on course to make tempeh a household name in the UK and beyond.”