Health-focused plant-based meat company Nowadays closed its oversubscribed Seed round, raising just shy of $10 million to-date to support commercialization of new plant-based chicken innovation, scale its proprietary whole-cut technology platform, and expand distribution.
Currently, the company offers crispy plant-based chicken nuggets that have a classic fried chicken taste and texture made with only seven simple and sustainable ingredients. Nowadays emerges from its latest round of funding with one of the highest valuations for a company in its category and stage, a reflection of the increasing demand for healthy and delicious plant-based food and Nowadays’ unique capabilities to meet that demand.
Nowadays’ Seed round was led by Stray Dog Capital, with additional strategic support from Standard Meat Company, a 4th-generation privately owned meat processing and packaging company that supplies national restaurant chains, major supermarkets, and club stores. The support from such an established meat manufacturer validates Nowadays’ approach to creating whole cuts of plant-based meat that can easily plug into existing finishing lines to scale manufacturing. The partnership gets Nowadays significantly closer to realizing its vision of a future where nutritious plant-based meats are an accessible option for mainstream consumers across the US and beyond.
"At Standard Meat, we are constantly looking ahead to the future, bringing innovation to every aspect of our business. Today, that means investing in and supporting Nowadays and their plant-based meats that will deliver the nutritional benefits flexitarians are craving,” says Standard Meat CEO and co-president Ben Rosenthal. “We know that consumers want a variety of quality protein choices, and we are looking forward to lending our operational expertise and culinary credibility as Nowadays scales manufacturing and launches new products."
Additional participants in the round include returning investors VegInvest Trust, Tenacious Ventures, Cornucopian Capital, and Good Protein Fund. New investors include Selva Ventures, Vanterra Accelerator Fund, FoodHack, Gaingels, Beyond Impact, Unpopular Ventures, and notable angel investors Rachel Mansfield, Varsha Rao, and Brandon Shainfeld, among others.
While many animal- and plant-based meats need to rely on binders, thickeners, or other additives to hold ingredients together and create the desired texture, Nowadays’ technology and recipe naturally combine simple ingredients without any questionable additives to create whole cuts of plant-based meat. Since Nowadays’ plant-based meat performs like animal-based meat, it can easily fit into existing manufacturing finishing lines, allowing Nowadays to scale production quickly and cheaply. Over time, Nowadays’ low-cost manufacturing technology and their ability to plug seamlessly into existing finishing plants will enable the company to achieve cost parity with its animal-based peers so nutritious plant-based meats can be accessible to more consumers looking for better options for themselves, their families, and the planet.
Nowadays has prioritized health and sustainability when choosing its list of simple ingredients. For example, their plant-based chicken nuggets are made with just seven simple ingredients: non-GMO yellow pea protein grown sustainably by US farmers; whole wheat flour for the crunchy breading; cold-pressed sunflower oil for the fried crispiness and golden color; maple fiber for texture; and extracts of both yeast and mushroom for a rich, meat-like umami flavor. Nowadays nuggets boast 13g of protein with only 120 calories, no saturated fat, and 250mg sodium per serving, a significantly more favorable nutritional profile versus both leading organic and natural nugget brands and other plant-based nugget brands.
Leveraging its latest round of funding, Nowadays will introduce additional products, including a plant-based chicken cutlet with a similar nutritional profile to its flagship nuggets, launching this summer on its website for national shipping and in select restaurants across the country. Along with fueling product innovation, Nowadays’ funding and strategic support will allow it to expand its distribution in foodservice and launch into retail, including Whole Foods Market, later this year.
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