- The mushroom root-based alternative meat company Meati Foods named Phil Graves, a former chief sustainability officer at sporting goods retailer Bass Pro Shops as its new CFO effective immediately, according to a release emailed to CFO Dive. Before Bass Pro, Graves served as vice president of corporate development at outdoor apparel maker Patagonia and as founder of its corporate venture fund Tin Shed Ventures.
Graves succeeds Jody Macedonio, who stepped away from the role in December, according to a spokesperson. “Phil understands how to drive a purpose-driven enterprise that also delivers on profit, and this ingenuity is invaluable for short-term successes and our long-term mission,” said Tyler Huggins, CEO and Meati co-founder, in a release.
The move comes as the Boulder, Colorado-based company has been pushing to expand its retail presence — announcing it would be available in Meijer and Whole Foods stores last year — even as the market for alternatives to animal meat proteins has been under pressure partly from budget conscious consumers.
Meati Foods has not been immune to the headwinds in the alternative meat space, having reduced its headcount last year to focus on profitability, Industry Dive sister publication Food Dive reported. Meati has sought a different approach to marketing, having never identified as simply plant-based or positioning itself as anti-meat as well as avoiding “polarization” around the experience.
Over the last year, the company finalized an oversubscribed Series C raise of over $200 million and expanded into 3,000 retail locations nationwide. Back in 2022, the company noted it had “distanced itself” from the crowded alternative meat category, as it offered products composed of at least 95% mushroom root which gave them a “whole-food distinction.”
Graves, in a personal LinkedIn post Monday, said his new role will enable him to build a better world for his wife and three young daughters, two who are “flexitarians,” one a vegetarian and one a “die-hard” meat eater. “This role allows me to work alongside Meati’s top-notch team in building a healthier, more accessible, and more sustainable food system. That’s a future I want for my daughters,” he wrote.