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.×