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    Family-owned plant-based startup secures funding

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    UK-based family-owned startup Shicken has raised £4 million in funds from Matthew Glover’s Veg Capital, which has tripled its investment in the plant-based meat brand. The financing will go into a manufacturing facility to scale up production of its Asian-inspired meat analogues.

    The startup will use the capital as further capital expenditure into its manufacturing facility to increase the production capacity of vegan tikka and curry SKUs.

    Having recently received accreditation from the British Retail Consortium, the scale-up will make the Kent-based site one of the UK’s only dedicated plant-based, nut-free factories, and enable Shicken to produce a range of both branded and private-label products for retail and foodservice.

    The investment will also fuel the expansion of its distribution both domestically and overseas, following Shicken’s launch into 380 Sprouts Farmers Market stores in the US in January, alongside a Teriyaki Kebab Skewer SKU – its first non-Indian product – at Costco in the UK, Iceland, Sweden and France.

    And in January 2023, the company gained a listing at Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, rolling out into 471 stores nationwide. This year, it expects to achieve five times its current growth.

    Shicken was founded as a D2C business during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020 by husband-and-wife duo Parm and Satvinder Bains, who were already experienced campaigners in the food industry.

    “It has been a phenomenal journey for Shicken so far and we’re incredibly excited to see business scale on an international level, both as a brand and as one of the UK’s few dedicated BRC-accredited specialist primary plant-based manufacturers,” said Parm.

    “Veg Capital has been the perfect partner, aligning with our commitment to a more ethical and sustainable food system and backing our potential to become a global brand and major plant-based producer within the next five years,” he added.

    Shicken’s plant-based chicken is made from a blend of soy, wheat and pea proteins using tech that the brand claims imparts “a succulent chargrilled chicken-like texture”. This is then used in products ranging from tikka kebab skewers and Madras curry to butter chicken and rogan josh, which are based on recipes passed down by Satvinder’s grandmother.

    “The Shicken range is simply delicious, and their curries and kebabs are flying off the shelves – it was a no-brainer for Veg Capital to reinvest,” said Veg Capital founder and director Matthew Glover. “We’re excited to play our part in helping this family business go global over the coming years.”

    Glover is also the founder of Veganuary and fellow vegan chicken brand VFC, which recently evolved into a holding company called the Vegan Food Group, acquiring fellow plant-based businesses like Meatless Farm, Clive’s Purely Plants and Tofutown in its bid to become “a vegan Unilever”.

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