In the summer of 2021, vegan food brand Wicked Foods—which is currently sold under the Wicked Kitchen brand at Tesco stores in the United Kingdom—will make its debut in the United States. In 2018, the then 20-item Wicked Kitchen line first launched at 600 Tesco supermarket locations and sold 2.5 million units in its first 20 weeks. Since then, the line expanded its offerings at Tesco to more than 80 vegan products across multiple categories, including prepared meals such as Spicy Mushroom and Veg Sourdough Pizza, Toasted Three Onion Dip, Mac Attack Salad Bowl; vegan meats such as Mexican Style M’Shroom Shreds, BBQ Fib Rack, and Wicked Chorizo Style Bangers; desserts such as Red Velvet Brownie, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Lemon Cupcakes; and much more. After the success of the line, Tesco has made a five-year commitment to increase sales of its meat alternatives by 300 percent.
Built upon the mission of providing exciting plant-based meal solutions, Wicked Foods was created by New England-born vegan chef brothers Chad and Derek Sarno—former Global Executive Chef for Whole Foods Market who currently work as Tesco’s Executive Chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation. The brothers also co-founded vegan seafood brand Good Catch Foods—which sells vegan tuna pouches, frozen crab cakes, and fish burgers at retailers across North America—and have written several cookbooks.
“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,” Derek Sarno said. “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.”
The US expansion will be led by Wicked Foods’ new CEO Pete Speranza, a consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry veteran and partner at Unovis, a global leader in the alternative protein sector. “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,” Speranza said. “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.”
All of Wicked Foods products center around plant-based, ready-made meal solutions and the brand will announce which specific products it intends to debut in the US closer to its launch in 2021. As part of the brand expansion, Wicked Foods will launch “Plant Your Flag,” an initiative that asks fans to share where they’d like to see the brand’s products to help guide availability in the US and globally.