Plant-based company Kale United AB (Kale United) today announces its strategic investment in Ocean Hugger Foods, Inc (OHF), a pioneering food producer offering plant-based alternatives to fish proteins. Terms of the investment are not disclosed.
This is the first strategic investment following Kale United’s successful crowdfunding round completed at the end of 2018, raising over EUR250,000.
Based in New York, USA, OHF specialises in supplying restaurants and supermarket sushi vendors with Ahimi, a plant-based alternative to raw tuna. Ahimi provides consumers the experience of eating tuna without any of the stress on the oceans.
Developed by Certified Master Chef James Corwell, Ahimi is tomato-based and contains only a few simple ingredients. Other products in the pipeline include an eggplant-based eel alternative, Unami; and a carrot-based salmon alternative, Sakimi.
The strategic investment from Kale United will be coupled with support exploring new distribution channels for OHF’s products into European markets.
Kale United is based in Sweden, and Scandinavia has emerged as a key innovator and demand base for plant-based and sustainable products. The ability to help large international brands such as OHF potentially grow with new distribution channels in Sweden, Scandinavia and further afield is a critical and unique aspect of the Kale United ecosystem.
As part of the Kale United ecosystem, OHF will benefit from the wealth of experience of Kale United’s global partners. In fact, Kale United has recently partnered with plant-based investment company Johnson Resolutions, which, through Co-founders Cliff Johnson and Simi Valecha, offer start up investments to burgeoning plant-based brands, as well as financial consulting to optimise business strategies and workplace wellbeing to create progressive work environments.
Cliff joins Kale United as an experienced financial advisor, bolstering the business’ strategic operational and financial oversight.
OHF CEO David Benzaquen said, “We are thrilled to have Kale United as a mission-aligned investor. We are deepening relationships with plant-based leaders around the world, and the KU knowledge of the Scandinavian market will be valuable to us as we look to eventually expand there in the future.”
Kale United founder Måns Ullerstam said, “It is a fascinating time for food technology. Sustainable plant-based alternatives to fish proteins are set to be a central part of the growth of the dynamic vegan food sector in 2019, representing the next generation of game-changing plant-based companies addressing one of our planets most pressing sustainability and ethics challenges.
I am delighted to welcome David and the forward-thinking Ocean Hugger team to the Kale United ecosystem, and very much look forward to supporting their international expansion strategy wherever we can.
At the same time, I am also excited to announce our partnership with Johnson Resolutions. It is a significant boost to have a financial and strategic expert of Cliff’s calibre as part of our advisory board. Cliff has already been instrumental in helping steer our strategy post our successful crowdfunding, and I look forward to working with him.”