The Seaspiracy Effect: Plant-Based Seafood Company Nets $26 Million
The plant-based seafood company Gathered Foods, maker of Good Catch vegan tuna and crab cakes, just got an investment of over $26 million in its most recent round of funding. The company has seen steady growth as the demand for plant-based seafood is on the rise.
Even before Netflix launched its popular documentary Seaspiracy which uncovers the shockingly barbaric practices of the fishing industry, more consumers have been increeasingly embracing seafood alternatives. Seaspiracy has caught more than the attention of consumers, it seems to be driving up the enthusiasm of investors.
“We’re excited to have this important investment by LDC [Louis Dreyfus Company], a well-respected leader in the agricultural, food, and ingredients space, to help fuel growth and expansion of our company,” Gathered Foods CEO, Christine Mei told Plant Based News. “Partnering with proven companies who are innovators in their own right can only sharpen our ability to positively disrupt a nascent industry with our innovative portfolio of Good Catch products. As demand for plant-based seafood continues to rise, we look forward to further collaboration with LDC to create breakthrough opportunities.”
The investment will propel Good Catch’s plant-based seafood products forward, to be able to expand offerings and meet surging demand for seafood alternatives. In the days and weeks since the documentary was released, the demand for seafood alternatives has been surging. "The United States has shown the most interest in vegan seafood – with a 100 percent increase over the last year," in searches, according to Plant Based News. Companies making alternatives to seafood are considered good investments since this is an area that has the fewest options and the most room for growth. Large companies have taken note and begun to enter this desirable sector which is more sustainable than fishing, which is quickly emptying the world's oceans of healthy fish populations.
“Gathered Foods combines leading-edge R&D and state-of-art manufacturing capabilities and strong management, to deliver delicious plant-based products to a global market,” Head of LDC’s corporate venture capital program Max Cleg said. “We’re thrilled to partner with the company, as it expands the reach of its Good Catch brand and attracts new customers to this fast-growing sector.”
Good Catch has shown tremendous growth since last summer, when celebrities like Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley, and Lance Bass, as well as Paris Hilton, all invested in the company and took to their social channels to express their support for the vegan tuna that tastes like the real thing. The most recent round of financing has pushed Good Catch further toward the surface, representing a food brand that helps create a healthier planet.
“I’m excited to work with a food brand like Good Catch that leads with taste and aligns with my personal beliefs of making a difference for the animals and our planet,” Harrelson said last summer.
The brand signed a massive distribution deal with Bumble Bee last year that allowed it to get into most major US and UK supermarkets including stores and online retailers such as Amazon. That deal followed another major investment into the company of $32 million. Good Catch has since expanded from solely producing plant-based tuna to introducing a line of New England-style crab cakes made from chickpeas and fava bean protein. The brand plans to continue its expansion following this new investment, bringing more choices to the consumer.
Good Catch is not the only player in the plant-based seafood category. Companies like New Wave Foods and Trader Joe’s have started developing alternative seafood products within the last year. The consumer surge in enthusiasm has encouraged yet more companies to move beyond the saturated areas of meat alternatives for beef and chicken (which has also exploded) to create shellfish alternatives that taste like the real thing for fans of crab, lobster and even oysters, coming to a freezer case near you.
News: Good Catch Receives Big Investment
The plant-based seafood company Gathered Foods secured a $26.35 million investment package in its latest financing round, giving its brand Good Catch high hopes for expansion.