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By Saabira Chaudhuri
Unilever PLC (ULVR.LN) on Wednesday said that it has agreed to buy a Dutch maker of meat substitutes as the owner of Hellmann's mayonnaise and Ben & Jerry's ice cream looks to up its exposure to a high-growth segment of the packaged-foods industry.
Unilever's deal to buy The Vegetarian Butcher gives it dishes such as vegan chicken chunks, vegan smokey hotdogs and also a restaurant.
The company said the products are available in Portugal, Switzerland and Spain as well as the Netherlands.
The deal--terms of which were not disclosed--is expected to close by the end of the year.
It comes after rival Nestle SA (NESN.EB) last year bought Sweet Earth Foods, a maker of plant-based foods such as Harmless Ham and Benevolent Bacon.
The global meat-substitutes market has grown 36% over the past five years to $18.69 billion according to Euromonitor. The research firm forecasts growth of 17% over the next five years.
Wednesday's deal is in line with the strategy Unilever has pursued under outgoing Chief Executive Paul Polman for years: buying small to midsized brands in high-growth areas.
Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 19, 2018 07:01 ET (12:01 GMT)
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