Wicked Kitchen beyond meat collab frozen meals

The brand will use the money to increase global brand awareness and expand retail distribution

Wicked Kitchen, the plant-based food brand, has secured an investment of $20m, including backing from actor Woody Harrelson.

The brand will use the money to increase global brand awareness and expand retail distribution.

Derek Sarno, co-founder of Wicked Kitchen and executive chef and director of plant-based innovation for Tesco, told The Grocer the brand’s expansion plans were “well underway”, with its products set to launch into more retailers in the UK, US, Finland and Thailand.

He described this funding round as a “bridge to Series B” and said expansion would continue into 2023 and 2024, with an additional goal to improve foodservice availability.

Speaking about his investment in the business, Harrelson said: “I have known Derek and Chad [Sarno, co-founder] for many years and have been impressed by their wicked creativity in the kitchen and that they are not afraid to push the boundaries.

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

Wicked Kitchen products are currently available in Tesco stores across the UK and in more than 6,500 retail stores across the US. It also offers 23 products in Finland’s leading grocery retailer S-Market.

“It’s not surprising to me that Wicked Kitchen continues to be requested and sought after by more retailers,” said Sarno. “People demand and deserve amazing, delicious food experiences without the use of animals, by chefs that don’t cook or eat animals.”

The brand also recently opened the Wicked Kitchen Event Centre & Kitchen in Austin, Texas, something Sarno described as its “first brick and mortar”.

He described it as a place where he, along with brother and co-founder Chad, would be “hosting catered events, special dinners for hire, cooking courses and supper clubs”.

“Selfishly, the place will give my brother Chad and I a restaurant ‘chef’s kitchen’ to play in, test recipes and collaborate with more chefs and brands.”

Wicked Kitchen launched in the UK in Tesco in 2018 and has continued to grow in other markets. 

“We’ll continue on our mission to lead with culinary chops and taste, in every channel we enter,” said Sarno.