Wicked Kitchen, a prominent global food brand known for its 100% plant-based and delicious offerings, has revealed their acquisition of an alt-protein startup Current Foods.
Read: May 2023 Issue of Food InfoTech Magazine.
Current Foods specializes in providing plant-based seafood options to various food service establishments and fine dining venues across the United States and Europe.
Within a year, Wicked Kitchen has made its second acquisition with the addition of Current Foods. This strategic move enhances Wicked’s portfolio, emphasizes a promising growth segment, and aligns with the consolidation trends observed in the plant-based industry.
Last fall, Wicked Kitchen expanded its multi-category retail strategy by acquiring Good Catch, a plant-based seafood consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand. This move allowed Wicked Kitchen to venture into the alternative seafood market and further diversify its product offerings.
Commenting on the recent acquisition, Pete Speranza CEO of Wicked Kitchen said, “Current Foods is a perfect match for Wicked as a global-impact brand with the same mission and complementary products. With this deal and the Good Catch acquisition, we’re uniquely positioned as consumers continually learn about the environmental impact realities on sea life.”
Pete Speranza further added, “The merger brings Wicked Kitchen new global opportunities, channels and consumers. We’re able to put the Current Foods brand in the best possible spot to thrive and as a versatile multi-category brand; Wicked Kitchen is the home to do that.”
With a wide range of chef-crafted, animal-free consumer packaged goods, Wicked Kitchen proudly boasts the industry’s most extensive assortment. Their products can be found at over 90,000 distribution points, encompassing more than 40 offerings in the United States and over 150 products in the United Kingdom.
Within its multi-category plant-based retail offerings, the brand provides an extensive selection of frozen and ambient products. This diverse lineup encompasses heat-and-eat entreés, meticulously crafted frozen pizzas, as well as innovative ice creams and novelties, which are the first of their kind in the market.
The two purpose-driven brands are joining forces with a unified mission: to create extraordinary foods that contribute to environmental improvement and enhance the well-being of humans, animals, and marine life. Their shared objective is to inspire people worldwide to embrace plant-based eating as a means of making a positive impact.
“Wicked’s commitment to impact and to defining the future of the plant-based market makes them the right home for Current Foods’ high-quality products that combine superior technology and unbeatable flavor to create a vegan sushi-grade alternative to fish,” said David Barber, partner at Astanor Ventures, the largest investor at Current Foods that has supported the company since 2020.
Bringing Current Foods’ products into the Wicked Kitchen brand family aligns with Wicked Kitchen’s ongoing goal to disrupt and innovate within the industry.
“Wicked continues on our mission to disrupt the food space with plant-based culinary-forward solutions for consumers,” said Chad Sarno, co-founder and Wicked Kitchen chief culinary officer. “This synergistic opportunity to bring Current into the family, only amplifies the impact we can have as we continue to push forward in improving ocean health and all that call it home.”
Additionally, the acquisition signals a proactive strategy in the plant-based industry for continued growth in a competitive market, notes Speranza, an industry leader who co-led General Mills 301 INC venture fund investing more than $100M in emerging food brands. He has been an early predictor of the need for consolidation of plant-based brands to strengthen the industry.
Also Read: Plant-Based Milk Alternatives & their Numerous Health Benefits.
“There’s only so much shelf space and we’re all fighting for volume,” said Speranza. “The industry needs transformation to sustain innovation and competitive advantage. Wicked is ahead of the curve.”