In a move that will make shopping for food online easier, vegan marketplace Vejii is joining forces with vegan grocery store Vegan Essentials to meet the rising demand for plant-based products. The plant-based company signed an intent to acquire Vegan Essentials for $1.4 million, hoping to increase the accessibility of its products to consumers across North America. Before the acquisition, Vegan Essentials was the longest-operating plant-based marketplace in the United States. The company, founded in 1997, will now be able to reach a wider range of consumers and meet the rapidly growing demand for plant-based food distributors.

“Vejii’s acquisition of Vegan Essentials is not only a significant milestone for the company, but for the plant-based market as a whole,” co-founders of Vegan Essentials Ryan Wilson and Mary Ernster said. “With this acquisition, we believe Vejii is posed to leverage the rapid growth of the plant-based online retail market, driver by consumer demand, access to new products, and the largest selection of plant-based products in one place.”

The acquisition aspires to bring the most valuable assets from both companies together to develop the most effective, accessible online plant-based database. Vegan Essential’s management team will team up with Vejii to improve the company’s daily operations, giving decades of experience and value to Vejii’s growing company model.

“Vegan Essentials joins the Vejii family with a loyal customer base, establish supplier relationships, and distribution channels that will not only enhance Vejii’s ability to continue scaling in the US, but also help grow Vegan Essentials’ reach with Vejii's enhanced tech stack, and marketing experience,'' Vejii CEO Kory Zlikson said. “Vejii will leverage over 20 years of consumer insight and data from VeganEssentials.com, as the online grocery market has the potential to exceed traditional retail shopping over the long-term and will help fuel our growth for years to come.”

Vejii’s success comes alongside the general surge of plant-based food sales: The growing industry continues to fuel the growth of the online vegan marketplace, which made its debut earlier this year. The acquisition will help Vejii meet the swelling popularity of plant-based eating. A report released in early April claimed that plant-based alternatives increased by 27 percent to $7 billion in 2020. Sales in vegan meat and plant-based milk industries experienced twice as much growth as animal-based products. The increased demand is shown by how many US households purchase plant-based alternatives. The data revealed that 57 percent of Americans shop for alternatives, which is a four percent increase from 2019. The trajectory will require Vejii to expand in order to meet this steadily growing demand.

“Today marks a milestone moment as Vejii will become the online vegan marketplace with the largest reach between our two brands,” Vejii President Darren Gill said. “Our acquisition of Vegan Essentials will provide a strong platform for the future introduction of vendors and marketing on both ShopVejii.com and VeganEssentials.com, all while leveraging our team, distribution, marketing channels, and brand ambassador partnerships, as well as vast consumer insights that have been built through Vegan Essentials leadership position in the US.”

The acquisition will assist Vejii’s move to enter the US market. Gill also states that he believes that US plant-based sales will reach $20 billion in the future. For now, the company is raising CAD $10 million in preparation to go public, and following its intent to acquire, it will have extended its abilities to help the vegan consumer shop with ease.