Rebellyous Foods (Seattle Food Tech) is an innovative food production company creating delicious, juicy, and affordable plant-based chicken for the foodservice industry. Rebellyous is building a new manufacturing stack and production platform to implement unique food manufacturing methods in large scale production. Our IP allows us to achieve cost-competitive production of plant-based chicken that can more easily compete with animal-based chicken, thereby effectively addressing the negative externalities of Big Chicken such as climate emissions and egregious animal welfare concerns.
Rebellyous recently completed the launch of our headquarters facility in West Seattle, and with that underway, we are excited to announce the opening of our Series A round. We have 12 foodservice clients in Washington and Oregon and distribute via three distributors including US Foods. We recently expanded distribution to the SF Bay Area.
The U.S. meat industry is massive, producing over 105B pounds of meat per year. Plant-based meat only clocks in at one-fifth of one percent of this volume. Rebellyous is addressing this issue head on. We are building the infrastructure for large-scale production of plant-based meat: a visionary effort that no other plant-based meat company is pursuing. Just as engineers designed the tools to process massive numbers of chickens starting in the 1960’s, Rebellyous is engineering the tools to process massive amounts of plant protein in the near future. We intend to eventually rival the scale of the chicken industry and convert today’s poultry processing facilities into more productive and sustainable plant-based meat facilities.
In the last 20 years of plant-based meat production, industry growth has been almost exclusively driven by ingredient innovation and advances in food science, while the development of production technology has stagnated. As a result, consumers are increasingly open to adopting these better-tasting alternatives, but the industry is not able to produce them efficiently. Additionally, newer entrants have shifted their target market away from exclusively plant-based eaters and toward the mainstream, omnivorous market, with favorable results. Salient success with plant-based beef has created a rush in foodservice to lead in the plant-based chicken category and capitalize on the popularity of plant-based alternatives. Since 1960, per capita consumption of chicken in the U.S. has more than tripled – outperforming all other major proteins.
While beef has a strong cultural significance for many Americans – posing a challenge for plant-based options – consumers regularly turn to chicken for more functional purposes. Convenience, nutrition, and familiarity are all major drivers of chicken purchases, and processed chicken like nuggets, patties, and strips makes up half of this massive industry at $40B in sales per year.
Problem or Opportunity
Plant-based meat is poised for remarkable growth. But as it stands today, the large-scale expansion of the plant-based meat industry has been hindered by a lack of production innovation and process efficiency. As a result, supply dramatically falls far short of demand, and high prices pose a challenge for mainstream adoption and consumer confidence. This gap between production capability and demand presents an exceptional opportunity. Rebellyous Foods, a leader in plant-based meat production innovation, is taking a strategic approach to scaling this nascent industry into a truly competitive market sector that is capable of meeting current and latent demand for plant-based meat.
Solution (product or service)
Rebellyous is building novel production technology to create delicious, consistent, scalable, and affordable plant-based meat for underserved foodservice markets. Our IP centers on designing and deploying this technology to create facilities that are optimized for large-scale, cost-effective, and high-quality plant-based meat manufacturing.
Our most significant competition comes from conventional nugget producers such as Tyson and Purdue, and naturally so, since these producers represent the very industry we are working to disrupt. But at Rebellyous, our goal is not simply to replace the products of these meat-industry mainstays, it’s to replicate the incredibly efficient production systems that have enabled them to achieve rock-bottom prices and massive volume. We will do so without the liability, volatility, and negative externalities of raising and slaughtering animals.
Advantages or differentiators
Food companies like Morningstar and Boca have been making plant-based nuggets for decades, and similarly successful players, such as Gardein, have offered a plant-based “tender” for nearly as long. These companies have pursued limited growth, and have largely failed to meet the volume, quality, or price requirements of foodservice customers. These incumbents are restrained by outdated branding and outdated production methods: mixing/forming by Boca and Morningstar and high-moisture extrusion by Gardein. More recently formed startups, including Improved Nature and Nuggs, rely on the same, inherently limiting production processes as their predecessors, and grapple with underdeveloped and highly niche branding, respectively.
To date, Rebellyous has raised over $3.5M through seed investments and our participation in the YCombinator program in the summer of 2018.
With these funds, we completed product development for our plant-based chicken nugget, launched production in our small-scale, FDA-registered Seattle facility to serve early customers, and provided our products in a trial capacity to a local Seattle restaurant and a school lunch program. In early February 2019, we launched our first paid pilot program, with Swedish Hospital’s First Hill Campus. Within 6 months, we now have 12 foodservice clients in Washington and Oregon and distribute via three distributors including US Foods. We recently expanded distribution to the SF Bay Area. Details on additional pilots, current sales, and distribution partnerships can be found below. These funds also enabled us to complete early-stage design of our future flagship facility and to open our new headquarters facility in Oct 2019. Over the last 12 months, we completed preliminary designs for three new types of streamlined production equipment and built a team of 14 engineering, food science, production, and logistics professionals.
Rebellyous is a direct production company and operates our own facility in West Seattle. We exclusively serve the food service market, and distribute to Washington, Oregon and California.
Money will be spent on
Capital and Facility (growth in Headquarters)
R&D and Prototyping for New Equipment
Product Development (food science)
Contract Manufacturing (production partners)
New Staff / Growth (next 12 -18 months)
Total Series Seed Raise
Offer for investor
With the support and interest of so many of our current investors for this round, we are only seeking potential lead investment firms for the Series A. Our intention is to work with a firm who truly understands the nascent state of the plant-based meat industry and the enormous opportunity for growth. At Rebellyous, we are building a platform for plant-based meat production to make high-quality, scalable products that compete on taste, price and availability. We are fundamentally defining the future of this industry through production and equipment innovation.
The food industry shares many high level risks from trade and export tariffs, agriculture risks in the supply chain, and food safety concerns. Plant-based chicken production offers the industry relief from many of these risks because our product is based on common commodities, and it's much safer than processing chicken.
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Rebellyous Foods is a graduate of the Y Combinator Summer 2018 batch.
Won the competition and other awards
Rebellyous won Compass Group's Start-up Competition for most applicable product in foods service. Compass Group is the largest food service company in the world.
We have early designs for three new pieces of production equipment to make plant-based chicken. We are in the process of patenting the first one.