Finnish food maker Paulig buys 51 percent stake in meat substitute startup

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Finnish food maker Paulig Group is buying 51 percent of Gold&Green Foods, a food technology start-up behind so-called pulled oats, saying on Thursday it would expand the meat substitute internationally.

The plant-based product, which uses Nordic oats and broad beans as its main ingredients, was launched in Finnish stores in May and Gold&Green says it is struggling to meet growing consumer demand for it.

“We currently have annual sales of 2 million euros ($2.23 million), but the demand only in Finland is 20 times bigger,” Gold&Green co-founder and Chief Executive Maija Itkonen said.

Family-owned Paulig said it aims to increase production capacity and sell it internationally, starting in other Nordic countries.

It did not disclose the financial terms of the deal but said Gold&Green would continue as an independent unit after the acquisition.

($1 = 0.8975 euros)

Reporting by Tuomas Forsell, editing by Jussi Rosendahl