Investments & Acquisitions

Chunk Foods Secures $7.5M Amid Strategic Collab with Better Balance for Vegan Whole Cuts

Better Balance, a plant-based subsidiary of Mexico-based multinational food processing company Sigma Alimentos, one of Latin America’s largest meat and dairy producers, announces a strategic partnership with New York-headquartered startup Chunk Foods to develop co-branded plant-based whole cuts for the Latin American market.

The strategic collaboration follows a $7.5 million seed extension for Chunk Foods led by Cheyenne Ventures, which the startup says reflects “ongoing investor confidence” in its vision as well as the potential of plant-based whole cuts. The extension brings the seed round to a total raise of $22M, making it one of the largest seed rounds in the alt protein category, according to the company.

“Together with Better Balance, we are elevating the plant-based category”

Through the alliance, Chunk is set to develop a new line of co-branded plant-based whole-cut meats, marking its entry into the Latin American market, where the cobranded whole cuts are reportedly already available for Mexican foodservice.

Chunk Foods steak at restaurant
© Chunk Foods

Testament to growing interest in plant proteins

Says Chunk Foods’ media announcement, the move is “testament to the growing international interest in high-quality plant-based proteins,” and that the strategic alliance “will provide Better Balance access to Chunk’s cutting-edge products, allowing it to extend the category to a wider and more diverse audience.” It goes on to state that the partnership marks a “commitment to innovation, sustainability, and an expansion of the premium plant-based market.”

Founded in 2020, Chunk Food offers 4-6 ounce plant-based steaks in filet, cubed, and pulled beef formats for the foodservice market. The steaks are produced utilizing solid-state fermentation technology, with a current focus on beef and with further plans to later develop pork, lamb, and poultry.

Chunk Foods raised $15 million in April of last year in what it claimed to be the biggest-ever seed funding round for an Israeli plant-based company. The total raise including previous rounds backed by investors including Fall Line Capital, The MIT E14 fund, Cheyenne Ventures, Better Balance, Key1 capital, and Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition, amounts to over $24 million.

chunk food slices
© Chunk Foods

Success during the 2023 slump

Headed by Amos Golan, Chunk enjoyed commercial success throughout 2023 when its plant-based steak was added to the menu at famed Florida steakhouse Charley’s Steak House, exceeding all expectations when the restaurant then committed to purchasing 100,000 units of Chunk Food’s plant-based steak, confident of its superior quality. “We are reshaping the steakhouse experience and catering to the expanding tastes and preferences of today’s consumers,” commented Seth Miller, VP and CEO of Talk of the Town, which owns the steakhouse.

Speaking to vegconomist in interview at the time, Golan stated that the response was overwhelming. “Actually, it was so good that we decided to open the Tampa location earlier than expected. We knew this announcement was historic, marking the first time a traditional steakhouse chain in America is serving a plant-based steak, but I’d be remiss to say we expected this type of international media attention. It’s truly been incredible, and positions Chunk as a global leader in the space.”

Since then, Chunk has launched its popular steak at Neat Burger in Manhattan, and extended its partnership with the Talk of the Town Restaurant Group with the addition of its steaks at Vito’s Chop House, Fishbones, and a third Charley’s Steak House location.

Chunk Foods Chunk plant-based steak
Supplied by Chunk Foods

“Untapped potential waiting to be discovered”

Through the new funding and strategic partnership, Chunk says it is solidifying its position as a global leader in plant-based whole cuts. The enthusiasm is felt at Better Balance, whose VP of Plant Based Global, Helio Castaño, states, “The plant-based segment remains incredibly enticing, with substantial untapped potential waiting to be discovered.

“Better Balance aims to meet the evolving consumer demands for taste, texture, ingredient transparency, and ease of preparation. The collaboration with Chunk will enable the exploration of exciting new alternatives in the premium segment which are aligned to this purpose,” he adds.

“It’s an honor to embark on this exciting journey with Better Balance, known for its commitment to delivering high-quality products,” said Amos Golan, founder and CEO of Chunk Foods. “Together with Better Balance, we are elevating the plant-based category with innovative, delicious products that cater to the vibrant tastes and lifestyles of Mexico.”

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