MINNEAPOLIS — Wicked Kitchen has raised $20 million in bridge funding from investors including actor Woody Harrelson, Indian venture capital fund Ahimsa VC and Thailand-based food producer NRPT. The funds will help the company ramp up brand awareness initiatives, expand its retail footprint and enter the foodservice channel, said Pete Speranza, chief executive officer.
Founded by brothers and chefs Chad Sarno and Derek Sarno, Wicked Kitchen offers a variety of animal-free foods, including noodle cups, sauces, meal kits and more. The company debuted in the United Kingdom in 2018 and entered the US market last year. It launched in Finland earlier this year and plans to introduce more than a dozen products to stores across Thailand this fall.
The company recently acquired Good Catch, an alternative seafood brand founded by the Sarno brothers in 2019. It plans to fold Good Catch’s plant-based seafood products into its North American footprint to create “the largest variety of animal-free consumer packaged goods in the industry,” Mr. Speranza said.
Expanded distribution and new product launches have helped Wicked Kitchen more than triple its year-over-year sales growth. It has added more than 6,500 points of distribution in the United States since launching stateside. Recent additions to its lineup include dairy-free ice cream featuring the lupini bean and frozen entrees inspired by global cuisines.“Looking over the plant-based landscape, Wicked Kitchen stands out in the crowd not only because of our tremendous growth but also because of our variety across various supermarket departments,” Mr. Speranza said. “The fact that retailers are picking up multiple SKUs and some are even dedicating entire frozen door sets for our products is a testimony that they want to present customers a variety of options under a single flavor-forward, plant-based brand that has broader appeal.”