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Sundial Foods, a plant-based meat company announced that it has raised $4 million in startup rounds including Nestlé, Food Labs, ClearCurrent Capital, SOSV / IndieBio and more.

Sundial Foods based in Albany, California, builds vegan chicken wings with more than just meat to deliver a complete wing experience, including skin, muscle, and bone. Sundial expects its chicken wings to be available to restaurants in the US by spring 2022. The company said it will use the new funding to expand its team and begin production for its launch in the US. The USA at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

“Making a super tasty alt-chicken wing is only half of it. During the IndieBio program, the Sundial team focused on automating their production and manufacturing method, where they had several breakthroughs. They’ll make it to market faster than any IndieBio company in history,” said Po Bronson, General Partner at SOSV and Managing Director of IndieBio.

Sundial’s proprietary technology allows for the simulation of a whole cut of meat, with a fibrous meat texture, including muscle, and plant-based skin and bone. Sundial’s offering is a portion of clean food because it contains just eight easy-to-recognize ingredients like water, chickpeas, and sunflower oil and no artificial flavors or synthetic chemicals. Also, Sundial’s wings contain more fiber and less saturated fat than chicken but approximately the same amount of protein.

“Our goal is to make meats that replace the butcher, so our product can be enjoyed as a center-of-plate experience,” said Sundial co-founder Jessica Schwabach. “We want to give consumers—whether vegetarian, vegan, flexitarian, or meat-eating—a plant-based meat-eating experience that’s interesting, craveable, and versatile.”

Co-founders Siwen Deng, PhD, and Jessica Schwabach met in 2019 in class at U.C. Berkeley’s Alternative Meats program where they initially became interested in the plant-based space. In 2020, they participated in the Nestlé R&D Accelerator in Lausanne, Switzerland, where they took the formula for their chicken from bench-scale testing to pilot production. And in late 2020, Sundial co-branded a product with Nestlé’s plant-based food brand Garden Gourmet and ran a successful test launch in more than 40 retail outlets across Switzerland.

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