Location: Denver, CO
Darcey Macken’s career is centered around food, with a lengthy stint at Kellogg and other food companies before helping launch Planterra Foods in Denver in 2019. While food is the product, the business is more than that, Macken said.
“I have a passion for food but have found that this industry goes much beyond food — it’s about being invited to someone’s dinner table and providing food that makes people’s lives better,” Macken, the CEO, said. “People have choices when it comes to eating. I stay humbled and honored if our food is chosen, while wanting to learn more.”
Planterra Foods is a new plant-based-protein start-up food company. Its vision is to be the best plant-based food company, feeding future generations. “At Planterra Foods, we love food and believe healthy and sustainable plant-based products should never sacrifice taste or simple ingredients,” the company said.
The company seeks to capitalize on the plant-based food trend. Grocery sales of plant-based foods that are meat analogous have grown 29% in the past two years. Macken expects this growth to continue over the next decade as texture-and-flavor technology improves, new products are created and the negative stigma of eating a plant-based diet subsides.
Planterra Foods is doing several things to keep up with this demand growth, including investment in new technology and capabilities, creation of tools to stay connected with consumers and building a brand, as it has done with OZO.
Macken and the Planterra team recently opened a 189,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Denver.
“Opening our new manufacturing facility in Denver will increase Planterra’s production capabilities, offering opportunities to expand the brand to more consumers and retailers,” the company said. “The plant will employ approximately 200 people at full operations across corporate and manufacturing roles. We are proud to be a Colorado-based company, and our team is made up of food-loving, positive impact-makers with a shared vision to bring innovative solutions to plant-based foods through delicious, high-quality products.”
A graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, Macken earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and went on to complete the Executive Leadership Program at Harvard Business School. She is a board member and volunteer coach and is active with the Special Olympics.
Macken and her husband reside near Boulder with their two boys.
“I believe in the power of food to fuel our lives, and I’m proud of the purpose behind the work we do — which is feeding future generations and providing access to healthy, delicious food for everyone,” she said.
"I believe in the power of food to fuel our lives, and I'm proud of the purpose behind the work we do, which is feeding future generations and providing access to healthy, delicious food for everyone."