USA, Albany. Sundial Foods, a plant-based meats company, announced it has raised a $4 mill. seed round that includes Nestlé, Food Labs, Clear Current Capital, SOSV / IndieBio, and others.
Albany, California-based Sundial Foods makes vegan chicken wings that go beyond the meat alone to offer a complete wing experience, which includes the skin, muscle, and bone. Sundial expects its chicken wings to be available in US restaurants in spring 2022. The company says it will use the new funding to expand its team and commence production for its US launch at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgeton, New Jersey.
Sundial's proprietary technology allows for the simulation of a whole cut of meat, with a fibrous meat texture, including muscle, and plant-based skin and bone. The offering is a clean food, because it contains just eight easy-to-recognize ingredients like water, chickpeas, and sunflower oil and no artificial flavors or synthetic chemicals. Also, the wings contain more fiber and less saturated fat than chicken but approximately the same amount of protein.
Co-founded by CEO Jessica Schwabach and CTO Siwen Deng, PhD, Sundial Foods uses simple, natural ingredients to create vegan chicken wings with the characteristics of a whole cut of meat. Development of Sundial Wings started in Berkeley, California, and continued at the SOSV life sciences program IndieBio in San Francisco. Sundial has raised a total of $4.25 mill. to date.
Co-founders Siwen Deng, PhD, and Jessica Schwabach met in 2019 in class at U.C. Berkeley's Alternative Meats program where they initially became interested in the plant-based space. In 2020, they participated in the Nestlé R&D Accelerator in Lausanne, Switzerland, where they took the formula for their chicken from bench scale testing to pilot production. And in late 2020, Sundial co-branded a product with Nestlé's plant-based food brand Garden Gourmet and ran a successful test launch in more than 40 retail outlets across Switzerland.