Detriot-based Skinny Butcher has partnered with Chicago-based Wow Bao to launch a new plant-based protein brand in both retail and virtual restaurants.
Skinny Butcher invited Los Angeles-based Golden West Food Group to exclusively manufacture the line, be equity stakeholders and serve as the vendor of record, ensuring speed to market on a national scale. Wow Bao created a virtual kitchen concept for the Skinny Butcher.
The chefs created the Crazy Crispy Chick’n menu that includes Chick’n Parm, Jumbo Chick’n Tenders, Chick’n Caesar Salad, Teriyaki Chick’n, sandwiches and sliders. Wow Bao is a virtual restaurant operator that has opened more than 650 units throughout the U.S. and has begun onboarding Skinny Butcher onto their existing platform.
Wow Bao has partnered with REEF Kitchens to launch Crazy Crispy Chick’n across the country via third-party delivery.
Wow Bao has a longstanding relationship with Valor Equity Partners, an operational growth equity firm. Valor Siren Ventures, Valor’s food investment fund, made a $10 million investment in Skinny Butcher.
Dave Zilko, Skinny Butcher CEO, described the partnership’s overall approach saying, “Our mission is to go to market with a line that wins on branding and on flavor profile. No other plant-based program possesses the brand personality of Skinny Butcher; he endears himself to the consumer at the point of sale and that relationship continues through consumption. Skinny Butcher does not take himself or our Crazy Crispy line of Chick’n Nuggets, Tenders, Patties, Sliders or Breasts too seriously. This kind of food should be fun, while also being sustainable.”
Skinny Butcher is importing a progressive vegetable fiber strain, employing pea protein and adding to it a spice blend that results in products indistinguishable from animal-based comparables. From there, the soy-free line further differentiates itself with a breading system that allows for the sub-brand “Crazy Crispy,” in response to the fried chicken sandwich wars that are popular throughout social media.
Geoff Alexander, Wow Bao president and CEO, explains how these differentiating factors led to their partnership with Skinny Butcher. “We have always been a food first company, and Dave Zilko and his team have created an unparalleled product that we are proud to partner with and represent on a national scale. While other plant-based chicken companies have nuggets, we have a full line of menu items that will please any and all eaters.”
For more information, visit wowbao.com or skinnybutcher.com.