General Mills backs US organic cheese maker Good Culture in US$8m funding

USA – General Mills through its business development and venturing unit, 301 Inc has increased its investment in Good Culture, an American organic cottage cheese maker which has secured US$8 million in a new funding round.

The fresh funding led by Cavu Venture Partners, alongside investments from Almanac Insights is the latest by the dairy company which also offer both sweet and savory varieties, including strawberry chia, blueberry açai chia, sundried tomato and kalamata olive.

According to the company, the proceeds will be used in expansion of its distribution network as well as improve capabilities in product research and development.

Founded in 2015 by Jesse Merrill and Anders Eisner, Good Culture’s cottage cheese flavours include pineapple, strawberry chia, and peach and seeks to fill the market gap in healthy dairy alternatives.

“When we entered the market with our disruptive cottage cheese range, it was our aim to responsibly make real food, simple ingredient, superfood products that tasted amazing and worked toward a larger goal of creating a material change to the food system,” said Good Culture CEO and co-founder Jesse Merrill.

Good Culture said it uses high protein, organic and non-GMO ingredients, pasture-raised milk from free-roaming cows on sustainable family farms, live and active cultures, and no additives such as stabilizers, thickeners or artificial preservatives.

Last year, the Irvine, California-based startup raised US$3 million in investments from General Mills and venture capital fund CAVU Venture Partners to boost visibility in the market.

“Good Culture is a trailblazing company with an incredible passion for disrupting an entire category.

We are excited to partner with Good Culture to give consumers high-quality, delicious dairy products,” said 301 Inc managing director John Haugen.

Clayton Christopher, Cavu Venture Partners co-founder, said: “We are always seeking to find and support brands with a mission to change our environment and the way consumers eat for the better.

“We believed in them in 2016 and are excited to invest again with the brand as a part of their continued growth and progress, as Good Culture is at the helm of this dormant category’s reinvention.”

Last year, General Mills’ 301 Inc led US$40 million funding in vegan brand Kite Hill, to enable the brand to increase its capacity, invest in marketing, innovation and people to help fuel growth.

It also led US$17 million series B fundraising round in plant-based food and beverage brand Urban Remedy in the same year.

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