Derek Sarno

Derek Sarno. Image: LinkedIn

Retail & E-Commerce

Tesco Plans New Veg-Led Options Despite Derek Sarno Departure

Derek Sarno has announced he will be leaving his position as Director of Plant-Based Innovation at UK supermarket chain Tesco. Sarno, who co-founded the highly successful brand Wicked Kitchen, has been in the position for six years. During this time, he has overseen the development of both Wicked — which initially launched exclusively at Tesco in 2018 — and the retailer’s more affordable brand, Plant Chef. The launches made Tesco one of the first supermarkets to have its own line of plant-based products. There are now over 180 products in the Plant Chef range alone, and Wicked Kitchen also continues to expand — including internationally. Sarno helped to make Tesco the first UK supermarket to stock alt meat products in the conventional meat aisle, and …

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Pete Speranza Wicked Kitchen

©Wicked Kitchen

Interviews

Wicked Kitchen: “Plant-Based Eating Can Save the World From an Environmental Impact Standpoint”

For regular vegconomist readers, Wicked Kitchen will need no introduction. Born in the UK to immediate success back in 2018, the plant-forward brand created by chef brothers Derek and Chad Sarno last year expanded into the US in the biggest plant-based brand launch in US grocery history, following a huge £14M raise. Wicked has now launched into Northern Europe, landing firstly in Finland, and announced its entrance into Asia and several other markets as it continues its incredible growth trajectory. It was time to sit down with CEO Pete Speranza and find out the secret ingredients in Wicked Kitchen’s vegan recipe to success. Wicked Kitchen is one of the fastest-growing plant-based brands in the world. Why are your products so attractive to consumers and retailers? …

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Wicked Kitchen Co-founders_ Chefs Derek and Chad Sarno

©Wicked Kitchen

Company News

Wicked Kitchen Expands Into Northern Europe & Asia as Part of Global Domination

  Wicked Kitchen, the UK and US plant-forward brand created by chef brothers Derek and Chad Sarno, announces expansion into Northern Europe and Asia as well as further growth in the US, revealing a projected YOY  growth of over 300%.    “Wicked Kitchen is unlike anything else that has come before it in the plant-based space in any market,” Derek Sarno The Sarno brothers are also co-founders of Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch plant-based seafood, which saw exponential growth over 2021. Together they are a driving force for plant-based industry in the UK and US, and now beyond: the company today announces its expansion into Northern Europe and also confirms plans to launch into Asia by the end of the summer, starting with Thailand. …

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OPP Halloween

©One Planet Pizza

Products & Launches

One Planet Pizza Launches Wicked-Planet Pulled Mushroom Pizza For Halloween With Derek Sarno

One Planet Pizza, the UK’s much-loved frozen vegan pizza specialist, launches the Wicked-Planet Pulled Mushroom Pizza, in collaboration with highly regarded mushroom pusher, Wicked Kitchen’s Derek Sarno. The limited-edition Halloween pizza features One Planet Pizza’s family recipe tomato sauce, topped with BBQ pulled oyster mushrooms, black olives, vegan cheeze, spicy sriracha mayo and a Violife cheezy ghost. Every pizza sold helps them plant trees with reforestation partners One Tree Planted.   The launch follows a long line of collaborations from OPP with vegan brands such as with THIS for the first vegan Hawaiian pizza in UK retail; a collab with vegan fried chick*n pioneers VFC for the No Clucks Pizza; and last year’s partnership with plant-based brands Meatless Farm, the legendary Applewood® Vegan cheese, and Mooshies …

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©VFC

Products & Launches

Tesco to Become First Large Retailer to Bring VFC Fried Chick*n to Mainstream Market

After its recent US expansion, vegan fried chicken producer VFC today announces that from World Vegan Day on 1st November, its first major retailer listing will commence with Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain. Derek Sarno, Director of Plant-based Innovation at Tesco, enthuses: “I’m thrilled that Tesco is the first large retailer to bring VFC to the mainstream market. The plant-protein market is growing rapidly, and VFC brings something genuinely exciting to the sector. With no compromise on flavour, it offers a delicious alternative that will help make eating plant-based easier – and tastier – than ever.”   The products rolling out into 370 Tesco stores less than a month from now will be: VFC Original Recipe Chick*n Fillets, 220g RRP £3 VFC Original Recipe …

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Products & Launches

Wicked Kitchen Launches First-to-Market Vegan Lamb

UK’s Wicked Kitchen, created by Chef Derek Sarno, has launched a No-Lamb Roast with Pomegranate Glaze, which is now available in Tesco stores across the UK. Sarno confirms this is the first-to-market plant-based roast lamb product; whilst there do exist some gyro style strips made by various producers, this  does appear to be the very first whole cut lamb roast made from plants.

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Wicked Kitchen

©Wicked Kitchen

Products & Launches

Wicked Kitchen Rolls Out Into 2,500 Outlets in Largest Plant-Based Brand Launch in US Grocery History

After completing its $14 million Series A funding round for US expansion, Wicked Kitchen has officially launched in the country. The cult-favorite plant-based brand has secured what it claims to be the largest plant-based brand rollout in US grocery history.  “We’ve created the tools, recipes and products to make it simple, flavorful and fun for people to cook and eat more plant-based foods in the UK, and we are excited to now bring these to the US.” – Derek Sarno, Co-Founder of Wicked Kitchen Taking its global mission to expand animal-free foods to the US, the vegan meals market leader has announced the launch of its line-up in all Kroger outlets – America’s largest supermarket chain by revenue. As well as this, Wicked Kitchen has also …

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Wicked Kitchen Beyond Meat

©Wicked Kitchen

Products & Launches

Tesco Joins Forces With Beyond Meat for New Wicked Kitchen Beyond Ready Meals

After recently adding its first vegan cheese to its Grab and Go deli counter, UK’s largest supermarket Tesco has announced a major new partnership with Beyond Meat through its hugely popular Wicked Kitchen range, headed by vegan chef Derek Sarno, who announced the news on social media last week. “We are thrilled to be working with them on this new range,” Derek Sarno This agreement marks the first time that Beyond Meat has collaborated with another food manufacturer in the UK, and continues the rise in the category of plant-based convenience foods, currently witnessing exponential growth and investor interest. Tesco was recently crowned the best choice for plant-based food options in a recent study of the nine major UK supermarkets, and the latest product range …

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Southr fried Buffalo ramen Wicked Kitchen

©Wicked Kitchen

Food & Beverage

Tesco Named as Number One Plant-Based Supermarket in UK With 76 Own-Brand Products

UK retail giant Tesco has been crowned the best choice for plant-based food options in a recent study of the nine major supermarkets. Tesco, the largest supermarket chain in the UK, was found to offer the widest range of own-brand vegan meals and plant-based alternatives. Here we compare the runners up and speak to Tesco’s Head of Plant-Based, Chef Derek Sarno, on the news.

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Chad Sarno Good Catch

Chad Sarno ©Good Catch

Interviews

Good Catch: “I Don’t Think We’ll Ever Stop. We are Committed to Creating Options to Better Serve Our Planet”

Chef Chad Sarno is one half of a brother-partnership / two-man vegan food empire along with Derek Sarno, and the pair must be the two of the hardest working businesspeople in all of plant-based. This year alone, the number of achievements from Good Catch which we discuss in this interview, is truly astonishing.

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Image: supplied

Interviews

Derek Sarno: “My Plans are Simple. Keep Pushing the Boundaries”

Derek Sarno must be the busiest man in veganism. Tesco’s Chef-Director of Plant Based Innovation, co-founder of Wicked Healthy, and co-founding chef behind vegan seafood brand Good Catch Foods, somehow squeezes in enough time to update us on his recent news (there’s a lot), and thoughts about veganism in 2020.

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Good Catch Foods

©Good Catch Foods

Top Stories

Derek & Chad Sarno’s Good Catch Tuna Debuts in UK Following Landmark Financing Round

Following last week’s landmark securing of $32 million, which involved two key strategic industry investors -Greenleaf Foods and 301 INC, the venture arm of General Mills – Good Catch Foods‘ tuna products will roll out into Tesco stores where Derek holds the role of Director of Plant Based Innovation.

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Good Catch Foods

©Good Catch Foods

Company News

Good Catch Foods Closes Oversubscribed Series B Round Totalling Over $32M

Good Catch, the plantbased seafood company created by chef partners and brothers, Chad and Derek Sarno, today announces the closing of an “oversubscribed” Series B funding round, led by Stray Dog Capital and Rocana Ventures with participants including Greenleaf Foods, New Crop Capital, and 301 INC, the venture arm of General Mills.

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Interview with Derek Sarno Wicked Kitchen

Chef Derek Sarno Co-founder Wicked Healthy

Interviews

Derek Sarno: “This is a Movement That will Change the Food System From the Inside Out”

Derek Sarno is the recognisable vegan chef extraordinaire whose position as Director of Plant Based Innovation at Tesco saw the debut of his plantbased Wicked Kitchen line last year become the most successful product line ever launched in Tesco’s history. Yesterday, Wicked Kitchen announced the rollout of several innovative new products including vegan meats and ready meals to make plantbased both appealing and accessible to all.

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