Major bankruptcies have been shaking the fast-food industry in 2023, and now a plant-based food brand that’s extremely popular among Costco shoppers has joined the trend as well. The Tattooed Chef announced plans late last week to file for bankruptcy amid “a challenging financing environment and an inability to raise additional capital.” It intends to sell all of its assets and is laying off an undisclosed number of employees in California and New Mexico.
The Tattooed Chef offers a line of plant-based foods that range from veggie burgers to pizzas with cauliflower crusts. Though the brand sells its products at a range of different retailers like Walmart and Target, it has become especially popular with Costco shoppers.
Members have raved about the Organic Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry and Mexican Style Street Corn. Even professional chefs have pinpointed Tattooed Chef products–specifically the Organic Açai Bowls–as some of the best freezer finds at Costco.
But now that the company plans to file for bankruptcy, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding its future.
“I remain ever grateful to our colleagues at Tattooed Chef who helped to shape this remarkable journey and help to introduce plant-based foods and healthy eating to consumers across the country,” Sam Galletti, chairman and CEO for the Tattooed Chef, said in a statement. “Despite their commitment to our mission and our best efforts to maintain the operations of Tattooed Chef, our business has continued to be impacted by a challenging financing environment and an inability to raise additional capital. These factors, among others, in the view of the management team and Board of Directors necessitated the Chapter 11 filing.”
Galletti added that the bankruptcy filing and asset sale process “will allow us to provide clarity on the future of the Company for all our stakeholders.”
At least for the time being, Costco shoppers may not have to worry about losing access to Tattooed Chef products. The company said that it expects to continue operations during the bankruptcy filing process—and devoted customers can hope that the process will give the Tattooed Chef the resources it needs to stay afloat in the longer term. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections allow companies to stay in business and reorganize their debts, per Investopedia.
With that Chapter 11 filing, the Tattooed Chef joins a growing list of food and food equipment companies that have declared bankruptcy this year. Last month, the maker of Instant Pot, Pyrex, and CorningWare announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Sustainable meat producer Do Good Foods also filed for bankruptcy around the same time, Fortune reported. Additionally, the iconic kitchen brand Tupperware also warned in April that it might go out of business amid a major drop in sales, though it hasn’t actually filed for bankruptcy.