Tell us about Shocken Foods
We are an award-winning plant based deli meat manufacturer from the UK. We used our Michelin credentials to create mouth-watering cold cuts, recreating deli classics like porchetta, chorizo, roast beef & two famous spreads: vegan foie gras & ‘nduja (Great Taste Winner 2023). Our goal is to make indulgently tasty plant based foods that you will crave, while treating yourself to a high protein hit. Most people look at plant based foods cautiously, expecting sacrificing either the taste or texture, we want you to forget about this paradigm: meat vs no-meat. Just enjoy it, because you love it & it’s good for the planet.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Before the pandemic, we had a gourmet catering company specialising in high-end healthy corporate lunch, we served major blue chips like Google, Meta, Airbnb, Amazon, Chanel & many others. Most clients always requested vegan options & we were continually innovating & experimenting with plant based flavours & textures.
Once the pandemic took hold, the catering business was finished. We pivoted into manufacturing vegan products & started selling online. There were plenty of burgers & sausages on the market, but we craved charcuterie, luxurious indulgent foods that people know & love.
What makes Shocken Foods unique is not only Michelin kitchen experience applied to designing vegan products to the highest standard, but we still keep the food real – no artificial additives, no chemical processing. Working with hemp, pumpkin and other grains & pulses, allows us to achieve one of the richest nutritional profiles on the market (40g of protein / 100g).
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How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?
We launched at the end of 2020 selling online & obtaining a few small retail listings, our offer was a selection of deli sliced meats. We were heavily bootstrapping & staying very protective of our process, so we kept the company very small. We were only finding our feet in the market, experimenting with products & sectors. At one point we even developed a range of vegan cheeses using live bacteria strains for fermentation.
In 2022 our mindset shifted from small business owners to wanting to build a strong company with global impact. We were selected by Big Idea Ventures to join their Paris startup accelerator & we secured an investment of £200k.
2023 was a scale up time, when we transitioned from a commercial kitchen onto the factory floor to be able to produce pallets. Along the way we picked up a selection of wins, Food Startup of the Year 2023, Great Taste Award 2023 (‘nduja), Best New Business (Best BusinessWomen Awards) & we await results from a few other prestigious awards later this year!
2024 is set to be even bigger. We have been selected by Channel 4 to feature in one of their food tv shows with one of the biggest viewerships in the UK. That’s airing in March 2024.
Currently our focus is on building partnerships with wholesalers, getting our products to restaurants, pizzerias & sandwich manufacturers, before we hit your TV screens next year.
What can we hope to see from Shocken Foods in the future?
UK rollout is imminent, but we will continue to innovate as our protein sources evolve. We are not married to a singular technology. We avoid heavy capital investment in R&D infrastructure that may become obsolete in the future. We are currently selecting a number of partners that are leading the field of alternative protein research to launch a new product in 2024. What product? Can’t tell you yet.