General Mills eyes greater plant-based presence with new investment in meat-free start-up Everything Legendary 

USA – American multinational food company General Mills is seeking a greater share of the plant-based category with its new investment in Everything Legendary. 

Everything Legendary is a US-based meat-free start-up eyeing founded last year by black entrepreneurs Duane Cheers (CEO) and Danita Claytor (COO).  

The company has a range of plant-based burgers and mince that are currently stocked in Safeway, Acme, Giant and Target, along with select independent stores, totaling 1,500 across the US. 

Sprouts Farmers Market, Meijer and Publix are also on the roster for this year, with overall listings planned to reach 5,600 by the summer. 

Plant-based sausage, boneless chicken wings and breakfast patties are also in the pipeline. 

Its desire to expand beyond the US saw the startup raise US$6m in Series A funding round led by early-stage investor CircleUp Growth Partners.  

US food major General Mills joined the round through its 301 Inc. venture-capital fund, which has been active in other areas of plant-based foods. 

General Mills bet in plant-based foods follows a groundbreaking report released last year that predicted that the plant-based food market will exceed US$162 billion within the next decade.  

The report by Bloomberg attributed its projection to the growing preference for sustainable, healthier foods is pushing the movement.   

Commenting on the investment, Everything Legendary CEO Cheers said: “There are a lot of people trying to get into the $5 billion-plus plant-based food market.  

We are looking to disrupt the multi-billion-dollar industry with unprecedented flavour, premium ingredients and high-energy marketing that sets our brand apart.” 

Everything Legendary which uses unnamed co-manufacturers in California, Ohio and New Jersey revealed that International expansion is potentially on the cards for next year.  

Doug Martin, the chief brand and disruptive growth officer at General Mills, said: “We believe Everything Legendary is poised for substantial growth – and we are just as energised by the passion of these founders as we are about the business opportunity. 

Their plant-based, chef-created products are a natural fit for 301 Inc., where our mission is to discover and elevate remarkable founders with innovative offerings.” 

Previous investments by 301 Inc. include meat-free firms Beyond Meat and Urban Remedy, and Kite Hill in nut-based dairy.  

The venture fund has also invested in Good Catch, the alternative-seafood firm under Gathered Foods wings, D2C business PetPlate and snacks company Rhythm Superfoods. 

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