US-based meat alternatives producer Chunk Foods has secured investment from Mexican meat and dairy business Sigma Alimentos.
The size of Sigma’s cash injection has not been revealed.
As a result of the agreement, both companies will work together to “develop a new range of plant-based whole-cut meats.”
The products will be distributed in retail and foodservice in Mexico and will mark Chunk Foods’ entry into the Latin American plant-based foods market.
To start with, the co-branded products will be sold in “select restaurants in Mexico City and Monterrey”, Chunk Foods told Just Food.
Chunk Foods produces plant-based meat whole-cut replacements using fermentation technology. Its portfolio includes a whole-cut four-ounce steak, six-ounce steakhouse cut and a shredded beef alternative.
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Headquartered in New York, the company confirmed it also has a “subsidiary” site in Israel.
Commenting on the news, Helio Castaño, vice president for Sigma’s global plant-based business, at Sigma said: “Better Balance aims to meet the evolving consumer demands for taste, texture, ingredient transparency, and ease of preparation.
“The collaboration with Chunk will enable the exploration of exciting new alternatives in the premium segment which are aligned to this purpose.”
The deal was struck through Better Balance, Sigma’s plant-based arm. Sigma launched Better Balance in 2021, before taking the business into the US a year later.
“It’s an honour to embark on this exciting journey with Better Balance, known for its commitment to delivering high-quality products,” added Amos Golan, the founder and CEO of Chunk Foods.
“Together with Better Balance, we are elevating the plant-based category with innovative, delicious products that cater to the vibrant tastes and lifestyles of Mexico.”
The news of the partnership follows the closing of Chunk Foods’ $7.5m seed funding round, led by Californian VC fund Cheyenne Ventures.
In a statement, Chunk Foods said the sum brought the seed round total to $22m.
The company has now raised $24m to date, from investors which include Cheyenne and Sigma, as well as Fall Line Capital, Key1 Capital and E14 Fund, and the Footprint Coalition.
Chunk told Just Food it would use the funds “to continue expanding our commercial and operations teams in the US and obtain nationwide distribution and increase the number of local distribution partnerships”.
Some of the money would also go towards boosting manufacturing capacity “to meet the demand and to support our growth across the United States”.
In an interview with US news site Axios, Golan said he expected business revenue to hit over $10m in the next 12 months.
The group sells its products in over 30 fine dining and casual restaurants in seven US states.
Just Food has contacted Sigma for further comment on the deal.
Based in San Pedro, Mexico, Sigma manufactures and sells 11 brands ranging from plant-based and frozen foods to dairy goods, dry meats, and cooked and fresh meats.
The Aoste charcuterie brand owner operates in 18 countries worldwide, has 66 manufacturing facilities, 187 distribution centres and over 45,000 employees.
Last May, the multinational acquired a majority stake in the Hispanic cheese and cream producer, Los Altos Food Products.