future of protein production with plates with healthy food and protein

Wicked Kitchen brand joins with Ahimsa Companies for industry evolution

June 7, 2024

Wicked Kitchen, the plant-based global food brand offering a range of chef-created foods, and its associated brands, Good Catch and Current Foods, have joined the Ahimsa Companies. Wicked Kitchen is the latest cutting-edge plant-based company to be brought under Ahimsa.

With a mission to remove animals from the global food system, Ahimsa Companies is leading an industry-wide consolidation effort generating opportunities for vertical integration and scale.

"Wicked Kitchen is proud to join the Ahimsa Companies," commented Pete Speranza, CEO, Wicked Kitchen. "We are aligned in our mission, and we believe that Wicked Kitchen is stronger today and better positioned to serve the health and environmentally conscious consumer who does not want to sacrifice on taste or convenience."

With crowded product categories and a downturn in investment funding over the past two years, industry leaders have cited consolidation – uniting brands to leverage collective strengths – as critical to the growth and success of the plant-based food sector.

Multiple additional brands, as well as manufacturing and sales enablement businesses, are targeted to be acquired under Ahimsa Companies in the near future. Matt Tullman, Group CEO, Ahimsa Companies, says the goal will be to vertically integrate and leverage resources to build momentum.

"We've said all along that consolidation will drive success for the plant-based industry," said Tullman. "As Ahimsa Companies brings together more brands, it can leverage this strength to help stabilize and shape the new landscape for the plant-based industry."

Pete Speranza, CEO, Wicked Kitchen

As a part of Ahimsa, Wicked Kitchen will expand to additional retailers, add food service offerings, invest further in innovation and continue to bring one of the largest varieties of animal-free consumer packaged goods to the USA and UK markets. The brand currently has products available in leading US retailers including Target, Wal-Mart and Kroger. The Wicked Kitchen brand family, which launched in the UK with Tesco in 2018, grew to +150 products, helping to fuel the UK's plant-based movement.

Founders, chefs and brothers Derek and Chad Sarno are pioneers in bringing a true culinary perspective to plant-based products, resulting in Wicked Kitchen's signature bold and flavor-packed foods. The brothers are stakeholders in the new brand business.

"As of this year, I am no longer involved with Wicked Kitchen as a founder," Derek Sarno wrote on LinkedIn. "While I am not involved in day-to-day operations, I am excited to see how they will continue to grow in the plant-based space and utilize my work in their future offerings.

"Before the initial launch of Wicked Kitchen with Tesco in 2018, plant-based options were very limited – essentially just a falafel wrap or a salad were available for ready to eat. Wicked Kitchen transformed the retail landscape in the UK, making space for even more plant-based foods and companies to enter the market.

"What I am most proud of is contributing to the growing awareness that we do not need to eat animals. And the demand for vegan options is still increasing, and when they are available, people choose them. The work did not come without struggles. One of my most impactful memories is from when I first started working on the launch. A colleague said, "Why would we want to sell vegan food? We've never done that; it will never sell." Yet here we are in 2024. My heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to then CEO Dave Lewis, Jason Tarry, Andrew Yaxley, Alessandra Bellini, Kate Ewart, and the entire team who believed in, supported, and took the risk. True leaders, in my opinion."

Sarno added that he is looking forward to exploring new opportunities and continuing to contribute to the food industry in various ways. "For now, I will focus on sharing my accumulated knowledge on creating delicious, creative, and satisfying plant-based foods, both at home and in businesses, through my YouTube channel."

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

About the Speaker

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Every week, you’ll receive a compilation of the latest breakthroughs from the global alternative proteins sector, covering plant-based, fermentation-derived and cultivated proteins.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.