Alternative protein fund Stray Dog Capital has made its first investment Down Under
Stray Dog Capital taps into the Australian market with a seed investment in Deliciou, a producer of plant-based meats and seasoning headquartered in Melbourne.
Kjetil Hansen founded Deliciou five years ago when he created a vegetarian bacon seasoning to make transitioning to a plant-based diet more manageable. The seasoning quickly gained popularity organically, but it was Hasen’s pitch on Shark Tank Australia in 2017 when the business really took off.
“We found that store-bought plant-based meats often had high levels of salt, sugar, and other nasties, which made a lot of people stay away from the category,” said Hansen, noting the start-up was launch as a healthy alternative. “We eliminated the need for preservatives, salt, and sugar by making the Deliciou plant-based meats from dehydrated plant proteins,” he explained. This recipe made more room for plant proteins and fibre.
From the outset, Deliciu has been operating with a direct-to-consumer business model. It rebranded Deliciou in 2020 and launched its first plant-based meat product – a shelf-stable chicken alternative with flexible preparation options.
“The shelf-stable alternative meat category has been an area of interest for us for some time,” says Johnny Ream, partner at Stray Dog Capital. “Deliciou not only delivers on taste but also in terms of its cleaner nutritional profile—that impressed us.”
Today, the Deliciou product range comprises plant-based alternatives to chicken, beef, and pork, as well as several pre-seasoned veggie meals. Products are available on the company e-commerce store, and each product boasts a clean ingredient deck, high fibre and protein content with low fat and calorie counts.
“When we launched the Deliciou Plant-Based Chicken in early 2020 we sold out in the first week, and since then we have been working on expanding our distribution to the US, Europe, and Asia,” said Hansen.
The company is currently rolling out the full range of plant-based meats into Whole Foods Market and has several major retailers launching the Deliciou range in the next few months.
“The investment from Stray Dog Capital and others has helped unlock our full potential and allow us to produce more inventory and expand the distribution globally,” Hansen concludes.
Other investors participating in Deliciou’s seed round are Adam Levis, former managing director of McKinsey Australia and New Zealand; Peter Osborne, former managing director of Blackmores Asia; and Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot, founders of Aconex.
Deliciou will use the funds to drive growth in the company and invest in new product development.
Date published: 31 March 2021