NEW YORK — Wicked Kitchen, a creator of plant-based meals, sauces and snacks, is acquiring the seafood alternative brand Good Catch in an all-stock transaction. Both businesses were co-founded by brothers and chefs Chad and Derek Sarno.
Wicked Kitchen will operate Good Catch in North America and the United Kingdom under the leadership of Wicked Kitchen chief executive officer Pete Speranza. The combination is expected to support accelerated product innovation, research and development and Wicked Kitchen’s expansion in the foodservice channel, leveraging Good Catch connections. Each business will retain its branding, current product availability, distribution and fulfillment.
“By folding Good Catch’s plant-based seafood offerings into Wicked Kitchen’s North American footprint we will have the largest variety of animal-free consumer packaged goods in the industry available at more than 30,000 distribution points,” Mr. Speranza said. “The two brands’ product lines complement each other and are 100% accretive, and the breadth of products across departments — from appetizers to desserts and everything in between — allows us to provide great-tasting food that appeals to everyone.”
Chad Sarno will be chief culinary officer for both brands.
“When creating Wicked Kitchen and Good Catch, our goal for both brands was to develop culinary-driven, industry-changing products that would challenge the way consumers think about their food choices and experiences,” he said. “By coming together as one team and one mission, we will have a broader positive impact.”
Gathered Foods, parent company of Good Catch, will become a shareholder of Wicked Kitchen and will gain a seat on the company’s board.
Founded in 2017, Wicked Kitchen initially debuted at Tesco stores in the United Kingdom and expanded stateside last year. Products are sold at more than 6,500 retail stores nationwide, including Kroger, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Giant, Publix and 7-Eleven. International markets include Finland, Estonia and Thailand.
Good Catch, launched in 2019, offers a portfolio of plant-based takes on crab cakes, whitefish burgers, breaded fish fillets and fish sticks, and salmon-style burgers. The brand’s seafood substitutes rely on a combination of beans, peas and lentils. Good Catch is distributed nationwide at Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and Giant stores, as well as nearly 500 Tesco stores in the United Kingdom. The products are sold under the Swell Catch brand in Canada.“Gathered Foods is a leading pioneer in plant-based proteins,” said Chris Kerr, executive chair at Gathered. “Wicked’s greatest strength is consumer reach, branding, and most importantly, culinary delight. Together, this is an outstanding path forward allowing both companies to bring their greatest strengths to the consumer market. This partnership with Wicked is the first of several steps Gathered is taking in this direction.”