Good Catch, makers of plant-based tuna, announced the closing of an $8.7 million Series A funding round. The investment round was led by the venture firm New Crop Capital and numerous other investors that see potential in plant-based, including Thrive Market, Fresh Direct, Stray Dog Capital, VegInvest and more.
“The relentless and indiscriminate killing of marine life is devastating ocean ecosystems,” Good Catch co-founders and co-CEOs Chris Kerr and Eric Schnell said in a joint statement. “The only truly sustainable seafood is seafood that allows fish to remain in the ocean. It is abundantly clear that we need a new approach to seafood. Importantly, this is a global concern and we need global stakeholders to put this approach into action; time is not on our side.”
Good Catch prides itself on offering delicious plant-based tuna offerings made with legumes (including pea, soy, chickpea, lentil, fava and navy) to mimic the texture and taste of flaked tuna. Products include fish-free tuna contained in a pouch (not a can) with the idea that consumers can craft convincing high-protein meals, such as tuna salads and tuna melts. Frozen crab cakes and patties are also in the product family.
Good Catch won a coveted NEXTY Award, which recognizes innovative brands at Natural Products Expo West and Expo East, in 2018.
Here, we catch up with Good Catch Co-Founder Marci Zaroff to learn what’s next for this sustainable brand.
What aspects of your business are you most excited about building with the new influx of capital?
Marci Zaroff: We are building our own manufacturing plant to prepare for significant growth.
I sampled Good Catch at an expo and was blown away by the texture and taste. But “vegan tuna” doesn’t sound particularly appetizing to core tuna consumers. What’s your plan to get people to try your product?
MZ: We are planning to offer tastings at major consumer events in key cities pre- and post-launch to build momentum, and we will be driving aggressive demos and field marketing efforts as well.
Can you briefly describe the connection between New Crop Capital and Good Catch? Did NCC launch the company? What was the impetus?
MZ: New Crop and BeyondBrands joined forces to co-found Good Catch, fusing mission-driven investment with a consulting agency of seasoned entrepreneurs and chefs, to address a major white space opportunity in the plant-based protein world—seafood without sacrifice.
Does Good Catch plan to focus on consumer-forward products or food service products? Where have you seen the most audience excitement?
MZ: We will be launching Good Catch products at major retailers nationwide, online and in foodservice, all by Q1 2019. All of these channels seem equally excited to embrace the Good Catch brand and products.
The funding round seems to include a “who’s who” of conscious investment firms. What excites you about having such a dream team of investors on board?
MZ: Most of our investors—many of whom are international, and include both retailers and distributors—are extremely strategic and share our vision to revolutionize the global seafood industry with our delicious plant-based products and cutting-edge technology.
What are the biggest challenges for Good Catch? Consumer acceptance? Supply challenges? Keeping up with anticipated demand?
MZ: Plant-based seafood is a big idea from unchartered waters, so consumer education, tastings and activation will be important in driving adoption. Our R&D process was extensive, and recognizing the potential for rapid growth and expansion, we've had to build a strong operational foundation, including building out our own manufacturing facility to meet expected demand.
What’s next for Good Catch? Where do you hope to be one year from now?
MZ: We have an exciting year ahead, with significant launch plans across multiple distribution channels in a global arena. With many strategic partnerships and opportunities being cultivated, Good Catch will offer a pipeline of delicious new products that will continue to invite and excite consumers worldwide to join our chef-mastered, plant-based movement—nothing fishy about it.