- General Mills, the company behind popular brands like Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt, and Nature Valley granola bars, is investing in a startup offering plant-based seafood.
- General Mills, which has been around for over 150 years, was part of a $32 million investment into Gathered Foods’ Good Catch line of plant-based seafood this week.
- The investment will help Good Catch expand across North America, Europe and Asia, the company said in a statement.
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General Mills, the company behind popular brands like Cheerios and Yoplait, is betting big on plant-based seafood — this week it was part of a $32 million investment into a startup offering plant-based tuna and plant-based fish burgers.
General Mills’ investment arm, 301 INC, was part of the hefty investment into Good Catch, the no-fish seafood brand from Gathered Foods.
The startup will use the funds to expand across North America, Europe, and Asia, it said in a statement, and hopes to launch new fish-free products this spring.
Good Catch wants to make seafood that’s safe to consume and good for the environment. The company says fish make up the vast majority of animals consumed around the world, but “nearly all large seafood species, especially tuna, come with heavy metals and microplastics within every bite. The fact alone that pregnant women are told to avoid consuming tuna is reason enough to seek alternative solutions.”
Good Catch’s no-fish foods use a “proprietary six-legume blend” of peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans, and navy beans to give protein and texture to the plant-based meat, according to the company’s website. It also uses algae oil to give it omega-3 fatty acids and a more seafood-like flavor.
“When we met the Good Catch team, we were immediately captivated with their mission to develop more sustainable plant-based seafood products that taste as delicious as traditional seafood,” John Haugen, managing director of 301 INC, said in a statement. “Good Catch stands out as a strong, expandable brand with passionate leadership, and we’re excited to partner to grow.”
Chris Kerr, Gathered Foods’ CEO and cofounder, told Business Insider that the investment “shows our customers and the food industry as a whole recognize our strategy … and are willing to see more innovation in the space.”
Kerr said General Mills “has massive global reach and a portfolio of forward-thinking food brands they’ve invested in, and having their support in growing Good Catch as a seafood-alternative brand is a big win for us and the trajectory of our company,” adding that the company’s products will help “the oceans and their inhabitants.”
General Mills, a Minnesota-based company that’s been around for over 150 years, has invested heavily in other plant-based food companies like Kite Hill, which makes dairy-free yogurt, cheese, and pasta.
The food giant was also an early investor in the popular plant-based meat company Beyond Meat, which it sold its stake in when Beyond went public. General Mills’ CEO Jeff Harmening told Yahoo Finance the company had “a really good return on a really small investment” in Beyond Meat.
301 INC’s Haugen drew comparisons between Good Catch and Beyond Meat, telling the Star Tribune the “road has been paved” for plant-based meat alternatives and that compared with the environmental stresses caused by meat production, “people aren’t as familiar with the stresses on the sea caused by fishing … I think that’s a story you will start to hear more about.”