Berkeley Vale, New South Wales
Life Health Foods (LHF) Australia is reaping the benefits of an increasing number of people choosing a plant-based diet.
Millennials are 12 times more likely to become vegetarians than baby boomers. We see this as a good opportunity to give people healthy, plant-based options.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned business, launched just 18 months ago, has quickly established itself as the market leader in chilled vegetarian foods. And the company’s market share in the frozen vegetarian product range has jumped from under 10 per cent to 24 per cent.
General manager Dean Epps was anticipating around 25 per cent growth for the financial year just ended, much of it driven by a rise in vegetarianism among millennials looking for “world solutions”.
“We see the business as really responding to the concerns of these young people in Australia,” he said. “They are concerned about where the world is going, about the environment and how animals are treated, and also about their health.
“Millennials are 12 times more likely to become vegetarians than baby boomers. We see this as a good opportunity to give people healthy, plant-based options.”
LHF’s launch in Australia follows the success of its parent company LHF NZ, which started with the Adventist Church buying several small, boutique-style food brands.
A purpose-built 6000sqm factory encompassing frozen, chilled and canning technologies was built on the NSW Central Coast with its grand opening in May 2015. It started with around 40 staff and now employs nearly 100.
Inside the LHF factory on the Central Coast.
With a philosophy of producing fresh, innovative and healthy cuisine using locally grown ingredients, LHF’s range includes Vegie Delights—previously produced by Sanitarium. The company recently launched Naked Locals soups with a focus on clean labelling and supporting Australian farmers. According to Mr Epps, LHF is also developing a new product range “as similar as possible to meat” to make it easier for those making the switch to a vegetarian lifestyle.
“Life Health Foods is committed to the Church’s philosophy of the importance of plant-based food,” Mr Epps said. “We really bring the health message to life in a very tangible way.”