Berkano Foods, the New Zealand plant-based ready meal startup, is now gearing up to launch an alt-meat range. The company recently closed a crowdfunding campaign with more than NZ$30,800, which will fuel its product portfolio expansion, which also includes new frozen vegan pizzas, sauces and desserts.
Berkano Foods is set to join New Zealand’s homegrown alternative protein brands, after raising over NZ$30,800 through a crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMe. The funds will go towards launching new 100% plant-based convenient products, lower prices, expand distribution to Australia, and ultimately, launch its very first vegan meat line.
Expanding into plant-based meat
With plant-based meat demand at an all-time high, Berkano Foods, which was founded by Forbes’ 30 Under 30 listees Britteny Bryan and Nicholas Harlow in 2017, is now entering the space. While it has not revealed specific products, their “ultimate goal” is to develop their own range of plant-based meats that “aren’t here in New Zealand”.
According to a Vegconomist report, products could include vegan beef, lamb and pork, and is slated to launch on retail shelves by 2022.
The Christchurch-based startup will be joining the small but growing cohort of vegan meat players in the country, which include vegan mince makers Vince, hemp-based meat brand The Craft Meat Co, and Sunfed Foods, a plant-based chicken startup.
Affordable vegan ready meals
The funds will also enable Berkano Foods to further expand its ready-to-eat meal range and other plant-based retail products. The brand is well-known as New Zealand’s first 100% vegan food meal manufacturer, with convenient reheatable meals such as Mac & Cheese, Burrito Bowls and Butter Chicken Curry.
Currently, the brand retails its range of products across more than 200 locations nationwide, but now plans to expand its distribution network. It is also eyeing entry into the Australian market, which saw plant-based retail sales grow 46% year-on-year in 2020.
New products that Berkano Foods is developing include a dessert range with cheesecakes, cooking sauces such as vegan cheese sauce and curry sauces, as well as new frozen pizzas.
In line with the company’s mission to make plant-based eating accessible to all, it says that the fresh capital will also help bring costs down and retail their products affordably.
“We want to push the price of products down to help stop the price gouging that has been happening by non vegan brands selling vegan products. Which ultimately stops people wanting to try and eat vegan,” wrote Bryan and Harlow.
All images courtesy of Berkano Foods.