Good Catch was set up in 2017

Good Catch was set up in 2017

Gathered Foods, the US company behind the plant-based seafood brand Good Catch, has announced investment from two major food manufacturers in North America.

General Mills, through in-house investment arm 301 Inc., and Maple Leaf Foods, via plant-based protein division Greenleaf Foods, have taken part in the latest fundraising in Gathered Foods, which markets seafood-alternative products made from legumes including chickpeas, lentils and fava beans.

The Series B round saw Gathered Foods attract more than US$32m, with existing investors, US-based funds Stray Dog Capital and Rocana Ventures, leading the backing. Other investors in the round included CPT Capital, the investment arm of the family office of UK businessman Jeremy Coller, and US fund New Crop Capital, which has also backed BlueNalu, a San Diego-based firm focused on cell-based seafood.

Gathered Foods said the latest investment would for "significant expansion in distribution" across North America, Europe and into Asia. It is also opening a manufacturing facility, as well as looking to launch more products this year.

"Consumer demand of trailblazing plant-based alternatives is nearly insatiable, and this trend is led by taste and availability. This next phase for Good Catch is laser focused on meeting consumer desires with culinary applications across all channels," Gathered Foods CEO and co-founder Chris Kerr said.

In 2015, General Mills turned its then innovation department 301 Inc. into an investment arm. Since then, through 301 Inc., the Cheerios maker has invested in a range of businesses including US plant-based food firm Urban Remedy in 2018 and, a year earlier, Beyond Meat.

John Haugen, the managing director of 301 Inc., said: "Good Catch stands out as a strong, expandable brand with passionate leadership, and we're excited to partner to grow."

Maple Leaf, one of the world's largest pork processors, set up Greenleaf Foods in 2018 to head two plant-based food businesses it had acquired in the US - Lightlife Foods and Field Roast Grain Meat Co.

"Good Catch is pioneering a new, promising sector of the fast-growing plant-based protein category and we're thrilled to support their continued growth and progress as they deliver consumers great-tasting plant-based seafood products that support their brand mission and ours, as well," Greenleaf Foods president and CEO Dan Curtin said.

September 2018: "We want to create disruption" - Good Catch co-founder Chad Sarno on the rise of plant-based seafood, the bitesize interview