True Made Foods

Ketchup That's Good for You

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Company Information

Website:

https://www.truemadefoods.com/

Sector:

Food & Beverage

Location:

Alexandria, VA

It’s official: consumers today want healthier food & beverage options.

In a recent survey from L.E.K. Consulting, a whopping 93% of respondents said they try to eat healthy at least some of the time. Nearly two-thirds try and eat healthy all of the time.

This dedication to health has disrupted the food industry. Sales of organic food — often considered healthier than traditional, processed products — reached a new high in 2020, totaling $62 billion in the U.S.

But what about the sauces and seasonings we put on our food? Shouldn’t there be healthier options for these products, too? That’s what True Made Foods offers.

This veteran-owned company is targeting the $30 billion market for condiments with a line of all-natural, sugar-free products made with real fruits and vegetables. As the company says, it brings “kid-approved flavors to your backyard barbecue, turning empty-calorie condiments into nutrient-dense, paleo superfoods.”

Recently, there have been a couple of major deals within the condiment market. In November 2020, McCormick acquired Cholula, makers of hot sauce, for $800 million (annual sales were less than $100 million). And in 2018, Kraft Heinz acquired Primal Kitchen, a startup making healthier condiments, for around $200 million (annual sales were $50 million and the company launched just three years earlier).

Since launching in 2017, True Made Foods has become the fastest-growing ketchup brand in the U.S. 2020 sales totaled $2 million, a 120% increase from 2019. And the company is on track to bring in $4 million in sales in 2021.

Its condiments are sold in more than 5,000 stores, including Kroger and Whole Foods supermarkets. And this year, the company became the official ketchup of two Major League Baseball clubs: the Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals (the Nationals now offer True Made Food condiments throughout their ballpark).

True Made Foods has raised $2.3 million from investors including Siddhi Capital, Black Jays Investments, Veteran Capital, and SOSV. And in 2021, it was named among the “10 Most Innovative Food Companies in 2021” by Fast Company. (Another company on the list was Goldbelly, which we introduced to Crowdability readers in 2013. At the time, its valuation was just $3 million, and today it’s exploring an IPO at a potential $1 billion valuation.)

True Made Foods is bringing to light an unfortunate fact: conventional condiments are loaded with sugar.

Sauces like ketchup and sriracha can have more sugar per ounce than ice cream. And most barbecue sauces have more sugar per serving than a glazed donut.

True Made Foods’ condiments, in contrast, are sugar-free. They’re sweetened using fruits and vegetables, and are paleo-certified, keto-approved, vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

True Made Foods operates like a traditional consumer-packaged goods business. It sells to distributors and direct to larger chains like Kroger and Walmart. Additionally, the company is targeting the food service market (through partnerships with the Red Sox and Nationals) and is developing its online sales presence.

True Made Foods is projecting $10 million in annual sales by the end of 2022, and $100 million in annual sales by 2026.

By the end of this year, the company aims to close contracts with 10 colleges and universities. And next year, it plans to expand its in-store network to Target, HEB, and Publix.

Team Background

Abraham Kamarck - Co-Founder & CEO

Abe is a U.S. Navy veteran who grew up adhering to a healthy lifestyle. As a father of four, he wanted his kids to eat healthy, too, but had trouble convincing them to give up sugary ketchup. So he decided to simply create a healthier version, which was the inspiration for True Made Foods.

Prior to starting the company, he was Director of Innovation with Coexist Foundation, a socially-focused education company. While there, Abraham took the company’s flagship product, Coexist Coffee, and helped scale operations. This coffee is sold in developing countries to help locals gain business and entrepreneurial experience.

Earlier, he was a principal with Maendeleo Ventures, a company helping small- and medium-sized businesses raise capital and develop business models. Before that, he was CEO of Viomel Limited, a small startup selling thermoplastics.

Abraham began his career serving eight years in the military as a branch chief and aviator. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from London Business School.

Sherri Merrill - Director of Operations

Sherri has more than 20 years of operations management experience.

Prior to joining True Made Foods, she was a manager with Bob’s Red Mill, a food & beverage company producing whole grain and organic products. Before that, she was Director of Operations with Earth Mama Organics, a consumer product business focused on healthy eating.

Earlier in her career, Sherri worked in international business development with Paccess, a packing and shipping company. She studied Event and Non-Profit Management at the University of Oregon.

Ryan Mitchell - Co-Founder & Pitmaster

Ryan and his father, Ed, are long-time barbecue pitmasters, and have been serving up award-winning food for years. The Southern Food Alliance named their barbecue the “most authentic in the South.”

As an expert in his field, Ryan noticed that barbecue sauce and other condiments were loaded with sugar. And in 2017, he decided to join Abraham and start True Made Foods.

Ryan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from East Carolina University.

Vanessa Jaikaran - Director of Marketing

Vanessa has more than 10 years of marketing experience in the food industry.

She began her career as General Manager of Melbas on the Park, a New York-area restaurant. She joined True Made Foods in 2015 as a brand territory manager, then grew into her current role.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary and Catering Management from the Institute of Culinary Education.

Co-Investors

Black Jays

A VC investing in startups focused on consumer products.

Food+City

A non-profit supporting food-related startups.

Siddhi Capital

A VC fund investing in emerging food & beverage companies.

SOSV

$250M venture capital fund focused on accelerating over 150 startups every year. Portfolio companies include Leap Motion and Harmonix.

Raising
$1.07 million
Committed
$219K (20%)
Current Valuation
$11 million Cap / 10% Discount
Min. Investment
$150
Deal Type
Title III
(For all investors)
Offering Type
SAFE
Finance History
  • $812K
    2017-01-01
    Unknown
    (Convertible Note)
  • $40K
    2015-05-26
    SOSV
    (Convertible Note)
Notable Investors
  • Black Jays
  • Food+City
  • Siddhi Capital
  • SOSV
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