MINNEAPOLIS — Wicked Kitchen on Monday announced its foray into serving sports teams and fans in the U.S. with its first plant-based concession stand, debuting at the Target Center in partnership with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Aligning with a mutual desire to provide plant-based options for fans, the Timberwolves and Wicked Kitchen have partnered to create the 100% animal-free food venue that will welcome fans throughout the season. The menu of elevated gameday favorites includes chef-created subs, burgers and ice creams, all made entirely of plant-based ingredients and packed with mouth-watering flavors appealing to a wide variety of palates.
"It's an honor to provide our hometown team with a Wicked experience that fans will love and crave," said Pete Speranza, CEO, Wicked Kitchen. "We know our foods will quickly be fan favorites and on par with the amazing team this year. More and more players are moving to eating plant-based, and we want to give the fans the same opportunity."
Speranza said the brand is seeing momentum with more sporting teams globally seeking plant-based foods enticed by a healthier choice and reducing environmental footprint.
Chef Chad Sarno, chief culinary officer and co-founder at Wicked Kitchen and a highly regarded pioneer of plant-based cuisine, will oversee the menu at the Wicked Kitchen concession.
"Wicked Kitchen is a wonderful addition to our concession lineup at Target Center, providing delicious and approachable plant-based options for our fans," said Ryan Tanke, chief operating officer, Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx. "A gourmet and chef-driven offering, there is something for everyone from Wicked's sandwiches to ice cream. We are so excited to introduce Wicked Kitchen to Timberwolves fans this season."
Wicked Kitchen products will also be served in the Club Level and VIP Lounge. The Wicked Kitchen Target Center menu lineup includes:
100% Plant-Based Sandwiches:
- Grilled Chorizo Brat - bratwurst with spicy harissa mayo, sautéed peppers and onions, topped with crisp shaved lettuce on a sub roll
- Jalapeño Gouda Burger - juicy jalapeño patty, melted vegan gouda cheese, crisp lettuce, vine-ripened tomato, sliced onion, topped with creamy, zesty Wicked burger sauce
- Meatball Sub - Italian seasoned meatballs drenched in Wicked's famous Nana's red sauce and topped with parmesan on a garlic-butter sub roll
100% Plant-Based Ice Cream Novelties:
- Berry White Stick - vanilla ice cream with raspberry swirl in dipped in white vegan chocolate
- Chocolate & Almond Stick - vanilla ice cream with toasted almond dipped in milk chocolate
- Chocolate & Red Berry Cone - chocolate ice cream, red berry sauce and chocolate chips in a gluten-free cone
"With this menu, we pushed the boundaries of traditional game day favorites for bold-flavored offerings that are good for the planet and free from animals," said Sarno. "We are offering the best sporting arena concession items in the country and upping the game with additions such as our harissa mayo on bratwurst, our secret sauce and gouda on the burger, and our Nana's red sauce to our meatball sub, all vegan."
In addition, Wicked Kitchen will have an ice cream cart at Target Center, featuring its first-to-market plant-based ice cream novelties made with a proprietary blend of premium ingredients including a lupini bean base that provides extraordinary creaminess and mouthfeel, without the usual soy or coconut aftertaste that comes with many non-dairy ice creams. The ice creams are also available for purchase at three other locations within the arena.
One of the first plant-based concession stands at a sports arena in the country, Wicked Kitchen's opening in the Target Center is further proof that the demand for plant-based has gone fully mainstream.
"There's no better way to show mainstream America that animal-free foods are super tasty, satisfying and comforting than by serving them up in a basketball stadium in the middle of the country," said Speranza. "We are thrilled for our global brand to show up loud and proud right here in our hometown to meet the demand for plant-based foods that appeal to everyone."
With the largest variety of any plant-based CPG brand in the U.S., Wicked Kitchen's portfolio of products are available in more than 8,900 retail stores in the U.S. In Minnesota, the products can be found at 12 locations with Kowalski's Market in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area along with local co-operatives in Minneapolis and three locations with Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth, MN. Additionally, Wicked Kitchen's Good Catch products, the premier plant-based seafood brand, are available in Whole Foods Market nationwide.
Nationally, Wicked Kitchen's products are found at Kroger stores and its other store banners which are: Fred Meyer, Ralphs, Dillons, Smith's, King Soopers, Fry's, QFC, City Market, Owen's, Jay C, Pay Less, Baker's, Gerbes, Pick 'n Save, Metro Market, and Mariano's. They are also available at Sprouts Farmers Market, 7-Eleven, Publix, Giant Food, Giant Eagle, and Wal-Mart.