USA – On the heels of raising US$36.8 million in a Series B financing round earlier this year, Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch plant-based seafood products has added a new group of celebrity investors, further bolstering the growth of the rising company.

The dynamic roster includes Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley, Paris Hilton and Lance Bass, all of whom come from diverse backgrounds to share their support to the company amid the rising global interest that is furling fuels robust investment in alternative protein industry.

The plant-based trend has cultivated an immense movement in recent years, with the category reaching a value of US$4.5 billion and retail sales of plant-based foods growing by 11 percent in 2019 compared to 2% for the overall retail food market.

Gathered Foods said that as consumer demand for protein alternatives continues to soar, the support from the new investors towards protecting animal welfare and bettering the world’s oceans shows the impact is more than just a trend, “it’s a lifestyle change that has staying power.”

“I’ve been living a vegan lifestyle for over 30 years. My diet has been driven by the love I have for the environment,” said Actor Woody Harrelson. “I’m excited to work with a food brand like Good Catch that leads with taste and aligns with my personal beliefs of making a difference for the animals and our planet.”

As plant-based meat products continue to become household names, Gathered Foods observes there is a clear need for plant-based seafood options that aid in easing the damage caused by the overfishing of our world’s oceans.

The company notes that this is a necessity that its team recognized leading to the creation of the Good Catch brand. According to the company, it’s plant-based tuna offers the taste, texture, nutrition, and experience of seafood without the adverse environmental harm.

“As an advocate for conservation, our planet and its oceans, I work with organizations around the world to help combat climate change and protect our oceans from pollution,” said Actress Shailene Woodley.

“That’s why aligning with Good Catch feels like a natural extension of my continued work. They are a like-minded brand that is doing their part to have a positive impact on our oceans and our planet, all while creating delicious plant-based seafood alternatives. I’m excited to see what innovative products they come up with next.”

The company has unveiled plans of “significantly” expand its distribution across North America, Europe and into Asia, and opening of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, and new product and food service channel launches in early 2020.

The earlier US$36 million round, combined with the new backing from Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley, Paris Hilton and Lance Bass signifies the overwhelming belief in the future of plant-based seafood, Gathered Foods says.

“Consumer demand and culinary trends show the evolving excitement for plant-based foods, and the unified support from such an influential group goes far beyond funding alone,” said Chris Kerr, CEO and Co-Founder of Gathered Foods.

“The message underscored by their backing is invaluable. We are thrilled to welcome all of our new investors and are hopeful for the growth and continued innovation their endorsement creates.”

The Good Catch brand continues to grow as its products are now available in over 4,500 retail outlets across the United States and the UK, with plans for additional international retail partners later this year.

Gathered Foods has already unveiled a joint distribution venture with Bumble Bee Seafood Company and appointed Tharp, President and CEO of The Bumble Bee, to its Board of Directors.