Shicken’s plant-based tikka kebab has won listings with Costco in the UK and went live in almost 400 stores across premium US retailer Sprouts Farmers Market’s estate

Asian plant-based ready meals challenger Shicken has secured additional multimillion-pound backing from Matthew Glover’s specialist investment firm Veg Capital.

The brand will use the £4m cash injection to scale up manufacturing capacity and “realise the global potential of its restaurant-quality range”.

The funding brings Veg Capital’s total investment in Shicken to £6m, following a previous round in 2022.

Increased scale and capability, together with the site’s recent BRC accreditation, would make Shicken’s Kent facility one of the UK’s few dedicated plant-based, nut-free factories, the company said.

Shicken will now be able to produce a range of branded and private-label products across retail and foodservice, while the investment would take its UK distribution to the next level and also fuel overseas expansion, the business added.

“It has been a phenomenal journey for Shicken so far and we’re incredibly excited to see business scale on an international level, both as a brand and as one of the UK’s few dedicated BRC-accredited specialist primary plant-based manufacturers,” said Parm Bains, who founded the business in 2020 with his wife Satvinder.

“Veg Capital has been the perfect partner, aligning with our commitment to a more ethical and sustainable food system and backing our potential to become a global brand and major plant-based producer within the next five years.

“This investment allows us to realise the ambitions for Shicken and to offer our proteins and develop recipes on a private-label basis, where I can also leverage my 20 years’ experience within food manufacturing across the major retail and foodservice channels.”

Veg Capital is run by Glover, who co-founded the Veganuary campaign and alt-meat brand VFC (now known as Vegan Food Group), and invests in early-stage plant-based companies developing products to help to remove animals from the food system.

“The Shicken range is simply delicious, and their curries and kebabs are flying off the shelves, so it was a no-brainer for Veg Capital to reinvest,” Glover added.

“We’re excited to play our part in helping this family business go global over the coming years.”

Shicken, which started life as a DTC business with meals cooked in the family kitchen during lockdown in 2020, has won listings with Costco in the UK, as well as with retailers in Iceland, Sweden and France. A launch earlier this year with premium US retailer Sprouts Farmers Market across almost 400 stores is set to boost revenues five-fold at the company.

Made with a blend of soya, wheat and pea proteins, Shicken makes a range of vegan curries and kebabs based on family recipes from Satvinder’s grandmother, claiming the technology used in the factory gives the products a “succulent chargrilled chicken-like texture”.