Two venture-backed startup companies are ceasing their operations due to a decline in demand for meat substitutes. Hooray Foods and Nowadays both have San Francisco-based headquarters and announced their plans to cease production via social media.
Hooray Foods launched its plant-based strips three years ago. They are made with ingredients like coconut oil, tapioca, rice flour and liquid smoke. Other ingredients include maple syrup, beet juice, maple sugar, and umami seasoning. a founder with ten years of experience in the sustainable food sector, created the product at home and worked closely with chefs and food scientists to perfect the recipe.
Hooray Foods, a food company in the United States, launched a equity crowdfunding campaign to raise $for a broader distribution network and to accelerate research and developement to expand their product line. The product was then sold in over 1,000 grocery stores nationwide, including Whole Foods Market. The startup raised seed funding from investors including former Dunkin’ chief David Hoffmann, Lyra Growth Partners and Evolution VC Partners. Sand Hill Angels Stray Dog Capital, GlassWall Syndicate, Sand Hill Angels and Evolution VC Partners also participated.
Hooray Foods posted an update to its Facebook and Instagram pages on It stated that “after four years of being on the market, and having produced over five millions bacon strips, we’ve made the difficult decision to close our business.”
The company said “the economics for running a business of this size do not match our revenues, and we are unable continue to produce our product for sales.”
Today two years ago, it introduced its plant-based Nuggets. They are made of seven ingredients: organic yellow peas (organic), whole wheat flour, maple fibre, sunflower oil and extracts from yeast, mushrooms, and sunflower. Max Elder and Dominik grabinski both had food industry experience before launching their business. worked as a plant-based nutritionist with Nestle and General Mills. worked as an agriculture engineer for various ingredient companies including Cargill.
The startup raised nearly $ million in funding after a seed round that was oversubscribed. The startup intended to use the money to scale up its proprietary whole-cut platform technology and commercialize alternative chicken products. Stray Dog Capital led the seed round, with Standard Meat Co. providing strategic support. Standard Meat Co. is a privately owned meat processor which supplies supermarkets, restaurant chains and club stores. Other investors include VegInvest Trust Tenacious Ventures Cornucopian Capital Good Protein Fund. Selva Ventures is a new investor, as are Vanterra Accelerator Fund and FoodHack. Also, Gaingels and Beyond Impact, Unpopular Ventures and Unpopular Ventures.
journey in the last three years has truly been extraordinary.” It’s been a great ride. From commercializing a new product in nine months to patenting patented extrusion technologies, entering retail with Whole Foods Market and establishing partnerships nationwide with award-winning restaurant chains, it has been an amazing journey.
He thanked the team, his advisers, customers and investors, saying, “Together we pushed boundaries of plant-based innovation, explored solutions for clean labels, and raised consciousness about the benefits alternative proteins.”
According to a report from the financial services firm plant-based meat sales peaked around 2020. This was when consumers were more able to spend and wanted to expand their food budgets in response pandemic-related shortages. According to data from Mintel, less than half of Americans at that time who purchased the product again. In a study conducted by in partnership with Plant Based Foods Association and the Plant Based Foods Association in the United States, it was found that plant-based alternatives to meat did not meet the needs of consumers in terms of taste, texture, or quality.