On a mission to redefine the frozen food category, Strong Roots is one of the fastest-growing F&B brands in the world. Hailing from Ireland, Strong Roots has expanded rapidly on an international scale with its extensive range of frozen vegan products.
With a clean label ethic and B Corp certification, Strong Roots has gone from strength to strength of late, recently securing a huge $55 million investment from McCain Foods. We felt it was a good time to catch up again with CEO Samuel Dennigan to get an update on this exciting vegan brand.
What is the origin story behind Strong Roots?
I founded Strong Roots in 2015 with a vision to make tasty plant-based food sustainable and accessible. Growing up surrounded by the food industry, I saw first hand the ins and outs of the produce market and recognized the consumer need for more exciting plant-based products; people want to try new things! We started with a line of our sweet potato fries and then went on a mission to create the perfect veggie burger and grew from there!
In which countries can consumers find your products currently, and which places are next?
Consumers can find Strong Roots products across Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S. in almost all national retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and ASDA in the UK and Walmart, Whole Foods, and Kroger in the US. Strong Roots’ products are also sold in over 8,000 stores worldwide including Singapore, Iceland, United Arab Emirates, Australia, The Netherlands and France.
“Strong Roots is on a growing path to becoming a global household name, a leader in the sustainable food industry”
Congratulations on your recent $55 million investment from McCain Foods. What does such a significant investment signify for Strong Roots? And what will the funds allow you to achieve?
Thank you! We’re very excited about the investment and what this means for the future of Strong Roots. This investment signifies that Strong Roots is on a growing path to becoming a global household name, a leader in the sustainable food industry.
Strong Roots remains a completely independent company, and the funds give us access to a greater supply chain, worldwide distribution, and research and development that is very important to our brand. Using McCains’ global presence and resources to expand Strong Roots’ footprint in existing markets, in particular the U.S., we will enter new markets and work with new retailers. The funding will also allow Strong Roots to expand into the foodservice market through McCain Foods’ out-of-home network.
What are the challenges of being such a rapidly-growing enterprise?
As Strong Roots grows, we always want to make sure we can deliver the same quality of product and continue to be committed to sustainability in our production. We also want to evolve and grow with our consumers changing tastes and needs, whether that be through expanding the ways we can reach our customers and ensuring we continue to innovate to meet their growing and changing needs.
“We are committed to sustainable practices not only in sourcing our food, but our food production, waste and energy management, and recyclable packaging”
How much does Strong Roots value sustainability as a company?
Sustainability is at the core of our company and a driving force for everything we do. We are committed to sustainable practices not only in sourcing our food, but our food production, waste and energy management, and recyclable packaging. We’re one of the only frozen food brands to be B Corp certified, meeting the highest standards of environmental and sustainable performance.
You are famous for your frozen food products, but how do you intend to reach consumers beyond the freezer aisle?
Strong Roots is excited to tackle new and exciting ways of reaching consumers. We’ve tested using ghost kitchens as a way to reach customers in a way they wouldn’t get to experience Strong Roots through their local freezer aisle. We’re also super excited to now be on the Gorillas app, delivering our tasty options to people in just minutes.
What does Strong Roots have planned for 2022?
In 2022, we’re planning to increase our global presence, launching in new stores worldwide. We also have some exciting product launches this year and are expanding our line! Strong Roots is on track to becoming one of the most recognizable frozen food brands globally. We would also love to move forward into food service and direct-to-consumer opportunities.
“This year will see a mass amplification of the commitment to sustainability seen by consumers and retailers”
What does Strong Roots Predict in the plant-based space for 2022?
Conscious consumption has been growing in popularity for a number of years, this year will see a mass amplification of the commitment to sustainability seen by consumers and retailers. 2022 is set to see a huge shift in the consumer towards conscious consumption. Foodies are becoming climate crusaders, across the board we are seeing this, and our continuing growth is affirming this.