USA – The Kellogg Company, through its venture capital fund, eighteen94 capital and Griffith Foods have led US$5m Series B financing in Kuli Kuli Inc., a California based maker of Moringa nutrition bars and powders.
Other firms participating in the round included InvestEco, S2G Ventures, Authentic Ventures, VilCap Investments and Rocana Venture Partners.
Kuli Kuli led by founder and CEO, Lisa Curtis has also received investment from women-focused groups including Portfolia, Astia Angels, Next Wave Impact and individuals from Golden Seeds.
The proceeds from the funding round will be used to launch new moringa ingredient business and expand its moringa powder, bars, and shots business, according to the company.
Griffith Foods, the global product development company said it plans to include moringa in its range of ingredient offerings for the company’s foodservice customers, processors, retailers and distributors across 30 countries.
Kuki Kuli expects growth of moringa to skyrocket in days to come with applications in beverages and desserts.
Moringa is a versatile ingredient that adds a complete protein, an array of vitamins and health benefits.
It is a fast-growing category of plants and one of the world’s most nutritious ingredients, finding various applications in US dishes from savory to sweet, producing delicious, nutritious and highly functional foods.
“After eighteen94 capital led Kuli Kuli’s Series A financing in 2017, Kuli Kuli’s retail business tripled.
We’re thrilled to continue to partner with Kellogg to grow our retail business while partnering with Griffith Foods to expand into the foodservice and ingredient space,” said Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli’s Founder & CEO.
Kuli Kuli is said to be a pioneer of moringa in the US, building a sustainable supply chain of small moringa farmers while selling tasty moringa products in 7,000 stores.
According to data by research firm Nielsen, moringa is the fastest growing green supplement in the category, outselling matcha and catching up to spirulina and wheatgrass.
The data shows that moringa has achieved a 3% penetration in US households with Kuli Kuli dominating more than half of the US retail moringa market.
“Griffith Foods’ purpose, that ‘we blend care and creativity to nourish the world,’ calls us to find innovative solutions to changing needs.
We also know that Griffith Foods cannot do this alone,” said Brian Griffith, executive chairman of Griffith Foods.
“Our strategic partnership with Kuli Kuli will help both companies elevate moringa as an exciting new ingredient, and we look forward to bringing this sustainable and healthy offering to the food sector.”