Wicked Foods to launch chef-driven, plant-based foods in the US and Canada
By Mary Ellen Shoup, Food Navigator USA
Wicked Foods, one the UK’s top plant-based food brands available in more than 3,700 Tesco stores, will launch its product line – which will focus on ready-made, convenient meal solutions – in the US and Canada in the summer of 2021.
Experiencing strong success in the UK where the brand originally launched in 2018, Wicked Foods recently announced a five-year commitment to add to its existing product line of more than 100 SKUs and to increase sales of meat alternatives by 300%.
Founded by chefs and brothers, Derek and Chad Sarno, Wicked Foods focuses on grab-and-go and ready-in-minutes foods that are as “nutritionally satisfying” as they are “visually stunning,” say the Sarno brothers, who are the authors of two cookbooks and produce a series of cooking videos on their ‘Wicked Healthy’ YouTube channel.
The Sarno brothers have pioneered several techniques in their products utilizing mushrooms as a meaty alternative to animal protein to create their most popular dishes, including BBQ mushroom steaks, mushroom steak & gravy, and mushroom steak & cheese sandwiches.
As part of the brand launch, Wicked Foods is asking its followers and others to help guide product availability in the US and globally asking consumers to ‘plant your flag’ to share where they’d like to find the plant-based products. Those who input their city at eatwickedfoods.com will receive a free copy of the Wicked Mushroom Manifesto, a digital collection of the brothers’ most popular recipes that highlight the techniques to transform mushrooms into ‘meat.’
Wicked Foods’ expansion is being led by new CEO Pete Speranza, a CPG industry veteran and partner at global investment firm Unovis, who will run the brand’s day-to-day operations.
“In my nearly 25 years in CPG, I haven’t seen anything quite like what Chad and Derek have been able to create with Wicked Foods,” said Speranza. “Their commitment to producing the most crave-able, sought after, chef-crafted plant-based foods is driving huge demand in the UK, and we know Americans are ready for this genuine and unapologetic approach to plant-based eating."
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