Poultry group PHW invests in fish-free seafood start-up Good Catch
Good Catch has developed tuna substitutes that it produces from soy, chickpeas, lentils and various types of beans, as well as fish-free burger patties. The group plans to launch its first products during 2018.
"Today, while navigating the quest for clean protein and nutrition, consumers are faced with a minefield of choices and trade-offs," said Good Catch co-founder Marci Zaroff. "Good Catch is committed to solving the problem with innovative ingredients and delicious novel products that serve and satisfy consumers globally – no exploitation required."
PHW, which produces leading German chicken brand Wiesenhof, participated in the US start-up’s series A funding round, which raised a total of US$8.7m.
Commenting on the move, PHW Group CEO Paul Wesjohann said that the investment was in-line with the group’s goal of delivering “sustainable, clean foods”.
"The equity investment in Good Catch is evidence of our forward-thinking strategy,” he noted. “We do not see this transaction as a financial investment but rather as the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership.”
Earlier this year, PHW struck a deal with Beyond Meat to serve as its sales and distribution partner in Germany. However, the planned introduction of the Beyond Burger has been delayed in both Germany and the UK because demand is so great in the US that Beyond Meat's production capacity is unable to keep pace.
New Crop Capital, a syndicate of investors consisting of PHW alongside retailers Thrive Market and Fresh Direct, led the round. Other investors included mission-aligned impact partners such as Stray Dog Capital, Clear Current Capital, VegInvest, Rocana Capital, Blue Horizon, EverHope Capital, Baleine & Bjorn Capital, M13, and Starlight Ventures.
Sustainable seafood: ‘Time is not on our side’
Good Catch is launching at a critical moment, tapping into the jump in excitement around food-tech with a line of culinary-driven, fish-free seafood products.
Good Catch attributed its early success to the expansion of the plant-based mega trend into the seafood sector. The group said this is currently a “virtually uncontested space” with “international impact potential”.
The company wants to help tackle some of the greatest challenges facing the seafood sector, with nearly 90% of large predatory fish stocks now depleted.
"The relentless and indiscriminate killing of marine life is devastating ocean ecosystems," said Good Catch co-founders and co-CEOs Chris Kerr and Eric Schnell in a joint statement.
"The only truly sustainable seafood is seafood that allows fish to remain in the ocean. It is abundantly clear that we need a new approach to seafood. This is a global concern, and we need global stakeholders to put this approach into action; time is not on our side."
Founded with the venture firm New Crop Capital, by conscious agency BeyondBrands, and with culinary innovation led by renowned plant-based chefs Chad & Derek Sarno, the team aims to help solve the oceans' complex global issues with new sustainable food technology and marine welfare, which are at the core of the company's mission.