Food Entrepreneur SAN FRANCISCO — Plant-based bacon maker Hooray Foods has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign with a goal of raising $500,000 to expand distribution and accelerate research and development for additional meat alternatives. Anyone may invest as little as $100 at

Developed to sizzle, smell and taste like bacon, the product is formulated with ingredients including coconut oil, rice flour, maple syrup, beet juice and purple sweet potato. Following a decade of experience working in the sustainable food industry, founder Sri Artham created the product in his home kitchen and partnered with food scientists and chefs to perfect the recipe.

The product is sold in more than 1,000 grocery stores, including Whole Foods Market nationwide, and is “quickly approaching price parity” with traditional meat products, according to the company.

“We’re happy to invite our community to join us on the march toward a better food system,” Mr. Artham said. “This is also a rare business opportunity as the plant-based bacon market has massive potential, but there are no publicly traded companies in the space. Additionally, our bacon has great margins, our sales have been on the rise, and we have a clear plan to being a profitable company by the end of this year, all of which create a path to an excellent return on investment.”

Funding has been a primary challenge for the startup, which previously raised several seed funding rounds. Mr. Artham noted a trend in institutional investors writing fewer and smaller checks in the past year, adding, “crowdfunding platforms, like Wefunder, have been continuing to do great, so we decided to change approaches.”

“Our sales are growing steadily — at Whole Foods and elsewhere — so we thought this would be a great opportunity to engage our fans and followers and allow them to own part of our plant-based future,” he said.

In addition to growing retail distribution, Hooray Foods has expanded its presence in restaurants and is set to debut on the menu at a multi-state restaurant chain within the next few weeks, Mr. Artham said.

“The two marketing tactics that we’ve been focused on the most, store demos and promotions, have proven to work,” he said. “So increasing sales is our primary near-term goal.  After that, we’d love to launch variations of our plant-based bacon, such as a pre-cooked version for foodservice, as well as different flavors.

“We’re also excited to introduce new indulgent products because we know better bacon alone won’t save the world. We’ve already created a delicious prototype of pepperoni, using our patented emulsion-forming technology, and we’ve been experimenting with other meats.”

Lowering the price is another priority.

“We see our sales go up significantly when our bacon is on sale,” Mr. Artham said. “So we’re exploring ways to reduce our production costs so we can offer an everyday lower price. This will take some time though.” 

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