Strong Roots, a U.K.-based tech company developing natural health foods, today announced that it’s raised $18.3 million in series A funding led by New York-based private equity firm Goode Partners, in a deal advised by mid-market firm Alantra. CEO Samuel Dennigan said the funding will cement Strong Roots’ global expansion, particularly in the U.S.
“Consumers globally are more educated than ever about harnessing the nutritional benefits and delicious taste of plant-based foods and are looking for high-quality options that are convenient to prepare. We’re excited to bring our unique, plant-based products to people across the U.S.,” said Dennigan.
Strong Roots was founded in 2015, and it offers a growing range of plant-based products like root vegetables, veggie burgers and cauliflower hash browns, oven-baked sweet potato fries, roasted beetroot wedges, and kale and quinoa burgers. All of its products are vegan and haven’t been genetically modified, and they’re made without artificial flavors or trans fats.
Strong Roots claims that it’s the fastest-growing food and beverage brand in the U.K., where the startup’s foodstuff is stocked by major retailers including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, and Marks & Spencer. It recently began selling eight of its most popular products stateside in over 3,000 U.S. stores via Target, Wegmans, and Whole Foods Market, and its SKUs are now available in over 4,000 stores worldwide in countries like Ireland, Singapore, Iceland, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Qatar.
“We are very excited about establishing this partnership with Sam Dennigan, the Company’s Founder and CEO,” said Goode partner Dan Bonoff. “Sam is an extremely talented and passionate entrepreneur who has created a truly differentiated brand and line of delicious plant-based food products. We could not be more proud to be partnering with Sam and the Strong Roots team to help fuel the next stage of its growth story. In an impressively short amount of time, Sam has built an exciting brand that resonates with consumers’ increasing preferences towards healthful and environmentally sustainable foods.”
Strong Roots’ attributes its success — over 8 million lifetimes sales — to the growing demand for vegetable-forward dishes and beverages. A study conducted by DuPont Nutrition and Health found that two-thirds of global grocery shoppers and half of those in the U.S. are eating more plant-based foods and drinks. Close to 60% of those surveyed said their switch to plant-based food was permanent.
Statista estimates the worldwide health and wellness food segment at $707.12 billion, and it projects it’ll increase to $811.82 billion by 2021. Occupying it are heavy-hitting brands like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, which have raised combined tens of billions for their respective alternative meat products.