2 Popular Plant-Based Food Brands Are Joining Forces

Plant-based meat is soaring in popularity despite its relatively recent introduction to the world. Between 2018 and 2021, dollar sales of plant-based protein in the United States increased by a stunning 74%, according to Insider Intelligence. That's three times the growth rate of animal meat in the same period. A consumer survey revealed surprising motives driving the trend, as over 40% of respondents said they choose plant-based meat for its perceived health benefits while almost 30% said they did so out of concern for animal welfare.

Regardless of what's driving consumers, plant-based protein is becoming an extremely lucrative business. Bloomberg reports the plant-based foods market could reach a value exceeding $162 billion by 2030. With the market expanding and competition between brands heating up, expect big moves out of the plant-based foods sector in the near future. Case in point, Food Dive reports that vegan ready-meal brand Wicked Kitchen has acquired the North American arm of plant-based seafood giant Good Catch.

Wicked Kitchen and Good Catch have longstanding ties

Wicked Kitchen's acquisition of Good Catch should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with either of those companies; the brands are literally family. Food Navigator reveals that both companies were started by sibling chefs Chad and Derek Sarno. They launched Wicked Kitchen in 2018 through a partnership with U.K. grocer Tesco, bringing the brand to the United States in 2021. Good Catch debuted in 2019 with a collection of plant-based seafood including crab cakes, fish sticks, and burgers. In 2021, they were named PETA's Company of the Year after striking up a deal with fast food chain Long John Silver's.

While the acquisition puts Good Catch's North American operations in the hands of Wicked Kitchen, in the U.K., Good Catch will remain the property of its longtime parent company, Gathered Foods, according to Food Dive. Wicked Kitchen CEO Pete Speranza will assume leadership of Good Catch as well, while Chad Sarno will retain his current position as Chief Culinary Officer for both brands. Rounding out the deal, Food Navigator notes that Gathered Foods will become a shareholder of Wicked Kitchen and receive representation on the board of directors.