LONDON, United Kingdom — Frozen plant-based food brand Strong Roots has raised $18.3M to support its expansion in the US.
As plant-based food sales soar, rising by 11% in the past year alone, reaching a total market value of $4.5 billion, the four-year-old startup is one of a growing collective leveraging consumer demand.
“Consumers globally are more educated than ever about harnessing the nutritional benefits and delicious taste of plant-based foods and are looking for high-quality options that are convenient to prepare,” commented Strong Roots Founder Sam Dennigan.
“We’re excited to bring our unique, plant-based products to people across the US.”
A UK-based brand, Strong Roots produces a range of frozen plant-based products including plant-based burgers, sweet potato fries and cauliflower hash browns. On track to generate $50 million worth of sales by the end of the year, the 4-year-old company expects its sales to hit $300 million by 2023.
Having recently entered the US market, its products can already be found in more than 3000 stores including Target, Wegmans and Whole Foods Market. However, backed by its latest cash injection the startup is hoping to increase that number, as well as expand its research and development efforts, according to TechCrunch.
Speaking about the brand, Dan Bonoff, partner at Goode — the New York-based private equity firm which led the funding round — revealed that he and his team are excited to be helping to fuel the next stage of Strong Roots’ growth.
“Sam is an extremely talented and passionate entrepreneur who has created a truly differentiated brand and line of delicious plant-based food products,” he said in a statement.
“In an impressively short amount of time, Sam has built an exciting brand that resonates with consumers’ increasing preferences towards healthful and environmentally sustainable foods.”
With more than 50% of US consumers trying to incorporate more plant-based foods into their diet, according to a study by DuPont Nutrition & Health, Strong Roots is in a solid position to capitalise on that. However, the brand is up against some tough competition.
This year alone has already seen some bold moves from food giants including Tyson, Kellogg’s, Hormel and Kroger, which are all sharpening their focus on the category.
Tyson recently announced a line of plant-based nuggets and burgers made as part of its new “Raised & Rooted” brand, while Kellogg’s is set to launch a vegan meat range called “Incogmeato” later this year.
With investment continuing to bolster innovation over the next 12 months, the industry is set to scale up even further.