Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch plant-based faux seafood products ranging from fish-free tuna, burgers, crab and fish cakes, has announced the closing of an oversubscribed Series B funding round, which includes two key strategic industry investors: Greenleaf Foods and 301 INC, the venture arm of General Mills.
Led by Stray Dog Capital and Rocana Ventures, and including several prominent impact investors such as Almanac Investments, CPT Capital and New Crop Capital, the net proceeds from the investment, totaling over $32 million, will be used for significant expansion in distribution across North America, Europe and into Asia, the opening of a 42,500-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Heath, Ohio, and new product and foodservice channel launches in early 2020. Up to 50 full-time and 30 part-time employees will be hired to work at the factory.
Valued at $4.5 billion, the plant-based foods retail market in the United States reportedly grew five times faster than the nation’s total retail food sales over the past year. According to Gathered Foods, rising global interest is fueling robust investment in alternative protein products, highlighting significant shift in consumer behavior and mindset.
“Consumer demand of trailblazing plant-based alternatives is nearly insatiable, and this trend is led by taste and availability. This next phase for Good Catch is laser focused on meeting consumer desires with culinary applications across all channels,” said Chris Kerr, chief executive officer and co-founder of Gathered Foods. “This round of investment emphasizes the food industry’s recognition of our strategy, our reception by consumers, and anticipation for more innovation to come.”
“When we met the Good Catch team, we were immediately captivated with their mission to develop more sustainable plant-based seafood products that taste as delicious as traditional seafood,” said John Haugen, managing director of 301 INC. “Good Catch stands out as a strong, expandable brand with passionate leadership, and we’re excited to partner to grow.”
Behind the success of Newtown, Pennsylvania-based Good Catch are founding chef partners and brothers, Chad and Derek Sarno. They have worked to help create the company’s proprietary six-legume blend (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans and navy beans), utilized as the base of these inaugural Good Catch products. The added umami flavor from seaweed and algae extracts creates a seafood flavor.
All Good Catch products are free of dairy, GMOs, mercury, toxins, microplastics, microfibers and are safe and enjoyable for those with shellfish allergies. These products exhibit the same texture, flavor, and nutritional value as conventional seafood, without harming the environment.
“Good Catch is pioneering a new, promising sector of the fast-growing plant-based protein category and we’re thrilled to support their continued growth and progress as they deliver consumers great-tasting plant-based seafood products that support their brand mission – and ours, as well,” said Dan Curtin, president and chief executive officer of Greenleaf Foods, SPC.