Wicked Foods, the renowned plant-based food brand and UK market leader in plant-based meals, snacks and ingredients, has announced the Summer 2021 launch of its pioneering product line in the U.S. The brand was created by world-renowned chefs and brothers Derek and Chad Sarno, who are recognized globally for their innovative approach to delicious chef-driven, plant-based cuisine.
Wicked Foods is the real-world expression of the Sarno brothers’ personal mission to make a difference in the lives of humans and animals globally through more sustainable and exciting plant-based meal solutions.
The expansion to North America aligns with the unprecedented changes already taking place among US consumers with more than 10 million Americans now following a plant-based diet, a number that grows exponentially every year. Additionally, meat consumption is on the decline with nearly one in four (23 percent) Americans saying they cut back on eating meat in the past year due to health and environmental concerns, according to a Gallup poll released in January 2020.
Wicked’s flavor-packed vegan ready-meals and fresh offerings launched with 20 products under the Wicked Kitchen brand in January 2018 at Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the UK with more than 3,700 stores. The launch of the innovative plant-based meals made headlines for its smashing success and impressive consumer response. Since then, Tesco has extended the line to more than 80 products across the store. Additionally, the retailer recently announced a five-year commitment to offer even more plant-based foods and increase sales of meat alternatives by 300%.
Entering the global market, Wicked Foods will continue to capitalize on growing demand for great-tasting foods that are free from animals by increasing availability and providing convenient meal solutions.
Wicked Foods creatively challenges perceptions of what can be done with plants in grab-and-go and ready-in-minutes foods that are, in equal part, visually stunning and nutritionally satisfying. Driven by the Sarno brothers’ culinary credentials and exacting high standards, Wicked Foods highlights the power of plants in changing the way the world eats by creating best-in-class vegan food for meat eaters.
“Our mission is to help people cook and eat more plants knowing that we’ll be saving millions and millions of animals each day which improves our planet while supporting our farmers and our health,” says Derek Sarno. “We’ve created the tools, recipes and products to make it simple, flavorful and fun for people to eat more plant-based foods in the UK, and we are excited to now bring these to the US, Canada and other European countries.”
Wicked Foods’ expansion is being led by new CEO Pete Speranza, a CPG industry vet and Unovis partner, who will bring his extensive experience and tactical know-how to the brand’s day-to-day operations. Wicked Foods joins other innovative brands in the portfolio of Unovis, a leading global investment firm disrupting conventional animal agriculture. Founding partner Chris Kerr has worked closely with the Sarnos to develop and launch the Wicked Foods brand.
“In my nearly 25 years in CPG, I haven’t seen anything quite like what Chad and Derek have been able to create with Wicked Foods,” says Speranza. “Their commitment to producing the most crave-able, sought after, chef-crafted plant-based foods is driving huge demand in the UK, and we know Americans are ready for this genuine and unapologetic approach to plant-based eating. Beyond that, it’s not only vegans that are creating demand but also mainstream consumers who want in on alternative protein options that put flavor first.”
The Sarno brothers, born in New England and authors of The Wicked Healthy Cookbook and co-authors of The Whole Foods Cookbook, are celebrated for applying high-level chef expertise to create innovative plant-based cuisine with bold flavors. The brothers have pioneered techniques utilizing mushrooms as a meaty alternative to animal protein. These techniques and their culinary skills with plant-based cuisine are showcased in their hugely popular cooking videos, which have generated more than 2.5 million views, and have created a near cult-like following, unofficially dubbed the ‘Mushroom Mafia.’
As part of the brand launch, Wicked Foods will ask its followers and others wanting to help guide product availability in the US and globally to “plant your flag” to share where they’d like to find the plant-based products. Those who input their city at eatwickedfoods.com will receive a free copy of the Wicked Mushroom Manifesto, a digital collection of the brothers’ most popular recipes that highlight the techniques to transform mushrooms into “meat.”
For more information about Wicked Foods, visit eatwickedfoods.com and follow the brand on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.