Wicked Kitchen raises $20m in bridge funding, triples year-over-year sales

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: Wicked Kitchen
Photo Credit: Wicked Kitchen

Related tags Wicked Kitchen plant-based Investment

Plant-powered culinary brand Wicked Kitchen has raised $20m in bridge funding from backers including actor and vegan activist Woody Harrelson, Ahimsa VC, and NRPT (Thailand's leading food producer and innovator).

The cash injection will help Wicked Kitchen -- which has tripled its year-over-year sales -- ramp up global brand awareness and expand distribution into additional retail accounts, food service, and other channels.

"I have known Chad and Derek for many years and have been impressed by their wicked creativity in the kitchen and that they are not afraid to push the boundaries,"​ said Woody Harrelson.

"What I love about this brand is that the products are actually created by chefs that always put flavor first, making it so easy to go plant-based."

Founded in the UK by brothers and chefs Derek Sarno and Chad Sarno, Wicked Kitchen launched with Tesco in 2018 and in the summer of 2021 entered US retail accounts including Kroger and Sprouts. Its portfolio is broad with a wide variety of frozen and shelf-stable plant-based products including noodle cups, sauces, frozen entrees, pizzas, meal kits, and ice cream (the largest selection of plant-based food under a single brand, it claims).


High-growth year

The funding news comes on the heels of Wicked Kitchen acquiring plant-based seafood brand Good Catch​ (also founded by the Sarno brothers) expanding the company's reach into frozen and ambient seafood categories. 

"During this high growth phase, it is validating to have support from additional investors who believe in our mission and in the future of plant-based foods,"​  commented Pete Speranza, CEO, Wicked Kitchen.

"This latest round of funding will help us go faster to expand our offerings in the US and abroad and it puts us in a well-poised position as we continue to lead plant-based innovations with flavor-forward products that appeal to vegans and omnivores alike."

Wicked Kitchen and its variety of plant-based product offerings is striking a chord with several types of retailers, noted Speranza. In the past year, the brand has gained distribution with 2,000 7-Eleven stores, 1,250 Walmart stores, and 1,200 Publix stores bringing its total US store count to 6,500.

In addition to expanding its footprint and offerings in the US, the brand launched 23 products in Finland's leading grocery retailer, S-Market, and, next month, it will introduce 17 products into Thailand's largest retailers, Tops Market and Central Food Halls.

"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," ​added Speranza.

"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."

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