- Gathered Foods, makers of the vegetable fish brand Good Catch, received $ 32 million in a series B financing round, including investments from Lightlife parent company Greenleaf Foods and General Mills venture arm 301 Inc. The round was led by Stray Dog Capital and Rocana ventures.
- The funds will be used to expand distribution in North America and Europe, to enter Asia, to open a production facility, to launch new products and to introduce food service.
- Good Catch products are now available in more than 4,500 stores in the United States. According to the release, the company will be launched in the UK within a few weeks.
Less than a year after its in-store stable tuna-based tuna product has arrived in stores, investors are diving into a Good Catch with a single financing round that has been raising nearly twice as much money that the company has raised so far since it started in 2016.
Good Catch is made by the brothers Chad and Derek Sarno and uses a mixture of peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, broad beans and navy beans, with umami flavor of seaweed and algae extracts to make a product that looks, tastes and behaves Like tuna.
With this financing, Good Catch wants to make a big splash in 2020. After years in which the vegetable food market is dominated by hamburgers, both consumers and financiers are switching to other animal proteins to replicate. It makes sense to support companies that focus on seafood. According to data from the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average American ate 16 pounds of seafood in 2017 – more than a pound more than in 2016 and most in 10 years. About 2 pounds of that was canned tuna. In North and South America, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, consumer demand for canned tuna in 2018 – especially more premium tuna in a bag – increased by 44% and 30%, depending on the type of fish .
The latest financing round also shows that Good Catch is attracting the attention of major manufacturers. General Mills’ 301 Inc was established for the old manufacturer to help establish promising startups – and for General Mills to learn from the startups. Many of the companies in which 301 Inc has invested over the years are located in the factory space. Beyond Meat was one of the first where the venture arm put its money behind. Other vegetable brands from 301 Inc include vegan cheese company Kite Hill and low-protein, low-protein bar and spread brand No Cow.
Greenleaf Foods is also an important investor. The company divested Maple Leaf Foods in 2018 with the intention of becoming a plant-based powerhouse. Until now, Greenleaf has mainly worked on the construction of its Lightlife and Field Roast Grain Meat products. Good Catch is the first investment according to Crunchbase. But it is unlikely that this is Greenleaf’s last. The company is currently building the largest vegetable protein plant in North America in Shelbyville, Indiana, which will double production capacity. The factory should open this year.
While these two investors provide more credibility – and bandwidth for potential production, marketing and distribution partnerships – to the vegetable seafood company, it is worth noting that Good Catch has always attracted the attention of major producers. In a financing round of 2018, Good Catch also received money from PHW Group, one of Europe’s largest poultry producers.
Good Catch is able to offer these large producers a large return on their investment. It currently has few competitors, and those in the vegetable seafood room have a much more limited distribution. And there are no warmer areas of the food industry. Investment firm UBS projects that the vegetable meat and protein market can be worth $ 85 billion in 10 years, a huge leap forward from the market value of $ 4.6 billion in 2018.
The plan to expand Good Catch to Asia is also likely to bear fruit. According to Allied Market Research, the Asia-Pacific region is responsible for around two-thirds of the global seafood market of $ 125.44 billion. Providing these consumers with a viable, plant-based alternative can be lucrative and strengthen the status of Good Catch as a global plant leader.