Black Sheep Foods announces it is partnering with specialty foods distributor The Chef’s Warehouse to launch plant-based lamb at restaurants throughout NYC. Beginning next week, chefs and restaurants can order the brand’s plant-based heritage lamb, which Black Sheep calls a first-to-market innovation.
Focus on game meats
Black Sheep, which specializes in uncommon game and wild meats, first launched its flagship vegan lamb at San Francisco restaurant chain Souvla in 2021. The debut proved a success, and soon led other top Bay Area restaurants, including Rooh, Chezchez, Beit Rima, Mazra and Monica’s, to introduce the menu item.
According to Black Sheep, its lamb adds significant value to restaurants by increasing new and weekly repeat customer growth. “[W]e’ve seen first hand why the plant-based movement is so powerful and what our partners need. More variety, more flavor, and more sustainable options,” noted Michael Dye, US Sales Lead at Black Sheep Foods.
Made primarily from texturized pea protein, coconut oil and cocoa butter, Black Sheep’s lamb is said the offer the same unique “gamey” taste and texture found in conventional lamb. In 2021, the company collaborated with Israeli plant-breeding company Equinom to use the latter’s 70% pea protein in its product formulations.
In January 2022, Black Sheep raised $5.25M in seed funding to expand development of plant-based heritage-breed meats. That news was followed by Delta Airlines announcing it would soon begin offering Black Sheep’s lamb meatballs for first-class and business travelers.
“We’re encouraged by the momentum the plant-based movement is currently seeing, evidenced by our support from a diverse array of investors and restaurants, and what that means both for Black Sheep Foods but also for the future of our plane,” Black Sheep co-founder Sunny Kumar said in a statement earlier this year.