Plant-based eating should be ‘about inclusivity and positivity… not finger pointing and shaming’

North Carolina-based No Evil Foods​ ​– founded by Schadel and Mike Wolianksky in 2014 and now in 5,000+ stores including Whole Foods, Wegmans, Albertsons, Walmart and Kroger – is not going head to head with Impossible Foods or Beyond Meat, who are effectively reverse engineering meat and putting it back together, molecule by molecule, with plants, says Schadel.

You’ve got brands that are selling a broccoli or bean burger, and then brands that are deconstructing meat at the molecular level.We’re kind of at the intersection between these two, offering a clean label product that’s minimally processed but that still delivers a true meaty experience, and that’s what special about No Evil Foods.

“We don’t use any isolated proteins ​[No Evil’s go-to ingredient is wheat gluten, a protein concentrate] and everything we use is something that you could likely find in your pantry, but we’re creating flavors and textures that meat eaters enjoy,” ​added Schadel, who raised a Series A round in 2019 backed by investors including Blue Horizon, Stray Dog Capital and Veg Invest, and will be raising a Series B round in 2021.

‘A clean label product that’s minimally processed but that still delivers a true meaty experience’

No Evil’s products are manufactured in-house in North Carolina, which ​has presented challenges as it has tried to navigate COVID-19, but has also enabled the company to innovate more quickly, said Schadel. Retaining control over its own supply chain has also been critical this year given the disruption caused by COVID-19, she said.

“I think that our team feels pretty supported at the moment, but there have been some bumps in the road​.”