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Japan's Naomi Osaka celebrates after winning against Romania's Patricia Maria Tig during their women's singles first round tennis match on Day 1 of The Roland Garros 2021 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 30.MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Salad chain sweetgreen Inc said on Monday it had confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the United States, hopeful of strong investor interest as demand for plant-based food products surges globally.

The company, which counts tennis star Naomi Osaka as its youngest investor, was valued at $1.8 billion after a funding round earlier this year, according to media reports. T.Rowe Price, Lone Pine Capital and D1 Capital Partners are among sweetgreen’s other investors.

California-based sweetgreen, which was founded in 2007 and has more than 100 stores in the United States, did not reveal more details about the size of the proposed IPO.

Plant-based food companies have attracted investor attention over the past few years, particularly as more people gravitate to healthy and environment-friendly food.

Much of the demand is being led by millennials and generation Z consumers, who are more than willing to spend on sustainable products that are also healthy.

About 65% of Gen Z consumers are in favor of plant-based foods, sweetgreen says on its website.

Last year, plant-based retail sales in the United States hit $7 billion, up 27% year-on-year, according to a report by the Good Food Institute and the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA).

Swedish oatmilk maker Oatly Group AB, which went public last month, closed nearly 53% above its IPO price on Friday. Plant-based burger maker Beyond Meat Inc was also up 16% this year.

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