30I Inc’s Newest Partner: GoodBelly Probiotics

301 Inc. is proud to welcome their newest partner, GoodBelly Probiotics. Colorado-based NextFoods is the parent company.

GoodBelly is known for its probiotic juices and shots but has been looking to expand into new products, such as bars and General Mills can offer the experience and know-how of managing brands such as Nature Valley bars and Annie’s Homegrown snacks.

“This is a significant area we believe is going to grow rapidly,” said John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301.

Bars might just be the first of new products to come as hinted by Alan Murray, GoodBelly CEO, saying, “”We have a whole wave of innovation in the pipeline.”

You can read the entire article here.

30I Inc’s Newest Partner: Urban Remedy

Urban Remedy announced it had closed a $17 million round of capital, with General Mills’ venture arm, 301 INC, leading the round. While the road ahead may be more complicated for a fresh focused business, CEO Paul Coletta says the company is ready to grow.

“Having a partner that’s aligned with us not just on the values of the company but also in the vision of how we want to grow it, [was] huge for us,” said Urban Remedy’s CEO, Paul Coletta.

Urban Remedy has 13 freestanding stores in the Bay Area as well as kiosks in 30 California Whole Foods locations. They also offer direct delivery to your door through their website.

“This [investment] is a continuation of a strategy that we’ve been on for a long time, and that is consumers are looking for fresh, closer to source, closer to whole foods. They are continually redefining health and healthful eating experiences,” says John Haugen, VP and General Manager of 301.

The new capital will go towards expanding Urban Remedy’s staff and investing in new equipment as well as supporting their plans to open 60 new kiosks in Whole Foods and expanding into a new market in 2018.

Read the entire story here.

General Mills Invests $3 million in Organic Granola Company



The venture capital arm of General Mills is investing in Purely Elizabeth, a Boulder, Colo.-based maker of granola, oatmeal, muesli and cereal that uses more nutrient-rich ingredients than a typical bowl of grains.

Granola is a popular product in the U.S. food start-up scene, but 301 Inc. believes Purely Elizabeth offers unique ingredients, taste and leadership under chief executive and founder Elizabeth Stein.

“We are thrilled to partner with 301 INC to help foster and grow the vision of the brand, and we look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together,” said Elizabeth Stein, founder and chief executive officer of Purely Elizabeth. “This investment is a great validation that Purely Elizabeth has become a brand to watch in the natural foods industry. Our strategic partnership allows us to utilize the resources and support of General Mills to boost our new product development, furthering our mission to redefine the standards of packaged foods.”

301 INC’s investment is the only outside funding Purely Elizabeth has accepted to date, the company said, and will allow the brand to launch new product lines at a faster pace.

“She was early to use chia seed and millet and some of these other novel grains as a part of her formulation, so she’s always been on the leading edge,” said John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301 Inc. “It’s nutrient-dense, but the reason people keep buying it is because it’s delicious.”

Read more about it here and here.



Farmhouse Culture raises $6.5m in financing round led by Gen Mills 301 INC


A $6.5m funding round led by General Mills’ 301 INC arm will help Farmhouse Culture – which specializes in fresh organic sauerkraut, sauerkraut chips and fermented ‘gut shots’ – expand its distribution and support new launches, including a new sparkling probiotic beverage.

“We’ve been watching the functional foods space grow exponentially over the past few years, with Farmhouse Culture emerging as a leader. The recipe for success is there: probiotic-rich products that taste great, led by a team with strong experience in the natural foods industry,” says John Haugen, general manager, 301 INC.

Read the entire press release here.

General Mills’ Venture Fund Invests in 20-Year-Old’s Startup


D's Naturals logo

On Tuesday, the healthy snacking startup D’s Naturals will announce it has received a “significant” investment from private-equity firm 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners and 301 Inc., which is the venture capital arm of cereal maker General Mills GIS 0.85% . Terms of the investment, which was led by 2x Partners, weren’t disclosed.

“This is the first investment I’ve taken outside of my family,” Katz told Fortune in an interview. “For the last two years, I’ve been essentially running this [alone] and it was getting to the point where I realized I couldn’t maintain it on my own.”

D’s Naturals makes plant-based No Cow Bars that are packed with protein and low in sugar, as well as a line of nut butters. All the items in the portfolio are free of dairy. “We think the combination of a bar that offers a plant-based source of protein along with low sugar is a great combination and very on trend with what consumers are looking for today,” says John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301 Inc.

Read the full Fortune.com article here.

Also read more at the PR Wire Newswire report here.

Kite Hill

kite hill almond cheese

General Mills’ latest investment is part of $18 million going into Kite Hill, which makes versions of cheese and yogurt from nuts — no cows involved.

“Plant-based used to be more synonymous with sacrifice than with taste,” said John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301 INC, General Mills’ venture capital arm. “Now, companies like Kite Hill are able to deliver plant-based products that taste good.”

Most small food companies struggle to develop on a larger scale, which is why Kite Hill elected to take the investment from 301 instead of raising capital through one of the many accelerators and incubators set up to support small food businesses or from a conventional venture capital firm. Part of the goal in partnering with a strategic such as General Mills, says Matthew Sade, CEO at Kite Hill, is to help the brand expand into more channels.

“There’s been obvious opportunity now to expand distribution and bring these products to a broader audience. To do that we need to both scale the organization, scale manufacturing and invest in building our brand,” says Sade. “General Mills has tremendous expertise around manufacturing and the supply chain, things that a company like ours can really benefit from as we expect to grow aggressively.”

Read the full New York Times article here and the one from Project Nosh here.

New Partner: Good Culture

Logo (PRNewsFoto/good culture)

A big welcome to our newest partner, California-based organic cottage cheese producer Good Culture.

Good Culture focuses on selling cottage cheeses that are high in protein, low in sugar and never uses gums or thickeners.

Founders Jesse Merrill and Anders Eisner say their brand’s cottage cheese includes non-GMO ingredients and comes from grass-fed milk from cows that live on sustainable family farms. They vow to give back 1% of sales to a network of nonprofits dedicated to protecting the environment.

“We are thrilled to partner with Good Culture,” said John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301 Inc. Haugen said General Mills’ resources can help the startup grow in a category that is gaining more attention from grocery shoppers: nutrient dense, high protein snacks.

Good Culture products can be found at Whole Foods and Sprouts Farmers Market.

Read the entire press release here.

New Partner: Rhythm Foods


We are excited to announce our new partnership with the innovative, plant-based superfood snacks company Rhythm Foods.

Rhythm® Superfoods is a remarkable, breakthrough brand with a truly differentiated product offering in the snack category. We’re thrilled to help them scale their vision and amplify their existing efforts with an investment of not only capital, but the tremendous resources that General Mills can offer,” said John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301 INC. “We look forward to helping this exceptional brand reach new heights.”

Read more about it here and here.