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Wicked Kitchen, founded by brothers Derek and Chad Sarno, has wasted no time in breaking into new markets. The Tesco supermarket house vegan brand is stepping outside of its U.K. and U.S. distribution channels, having announced Finland and Estonia as its latest markets, with Thailand coming next. The company has predicted 300 percent growth over 2021 sales.
Northern Europe’s presence has been guaranteed by a partnership with S Group. The Finnish grocer will introduce a selection of Wicked Kitchen products, including desserts, snacks, and ready meals, to more than 200 locations. Both Finnish and Estonian distributors are expected to see a 100 percent increase in lines offered for sale, by the close of 2022.
Wickedly well meaning
Branded to reflect its decadent recipes, Wicked Kitchen has wellness at its core. “As a disruptive plant-based brand in the U.K. and the U.S., we are on a mission to improve the lives of humans and animals globally by offering chef-created plant-based foods with a broader appeal,” Pete Speranza, CEO of Wicked Kitchen said in a statement. “By launching even more products where we already have a presence and expanding into new markets, we will continue to grow our range of delicious options to help meet the burgeoning demand for variety and flavor in plant-based foods.”
Established markets have become accustomed to seeing swathes of black and yellow-branded packets in their grocery shops of choice. Consumers in Finland and Estonia will be given comparable amounts of choice. Wicked’s full spectrum of food styles will be represented, even at this early stage of distribution. Ice cream, ready meals, grab-and-go snacks, everything will be available, with new additions to follow as they are rolled out elsewhere.
Announcing the next phase
Before the dust has settled on the recent launches, Wicked has already revealed that a move into Asia is planned for this year. By the end of summer, it will be available in Thailand. Wider distribution is expected later this year.
“Wicked Kitchen is unlike anything else that has come before it in the plant-based space in any market,” Derek Sarno said in a statement. “Wicked offers chef-crafted, mission-driven products created by exclusively vegan chefs and we put taste front and center while offering peace of mind that there are no animal products used, ever.”
Not forgetting its primary markets, the company is set to reinvigorate U.K. and U.S. stockists. The U.K. will see at least 30 new products launched in the next 12 months, which will include seasonal releases. Chocolates have already been confirmed for Easter. In the U.S., product lines are expected to grow by at least 50 percent. New recipes, including lupin-based ice creams, will be launched, and Amazon is coming on board as a retail platform.
Following the trends
Wicked Kitchen moving into Asia comes just after Kerry revealed that the market is crying out for more plant-based meat. The taste and nutrition giant conducted a study that found a shift towards vegan and plant-based foods was being spurred in my health and sustainability concerns. More recently, in December the company identified India as a key driver for plant-based uptake. But no plans have been announced for Wicked Kitchen to enter India as of yet.
Lead product image from Wicked Kitchen.