ECUADOR – Ecuadorian superfood maker LiveKuna has embarked on a new growth trajectory following a series A funding round that was led by bakery giant Grupo Bimbo.
LiveKuna manufacturers natural products made from superfood ingredients including quinoa and chia.
Its portfolio of natural products includes gluten-free flours, pastas, cereals, seeds, and grains in addition to its fast-growing line of superfood snacks called KunaPops.
The company works with farmers to source healthy ingredients like chia and quinoa, while sharing with consumers the story of who, when, and where the ingredients come from.
The company is rapidly expanding and moving into new categories with revenue for KunaPops, a variety of puffed snacks, doubled from 2020 to 2021, according to a statement from the company.
The brand will introduce sweet KunaPops in cereal and snack formats in the first quarter of next year and is aiming to grow at double digits year-over-year over the next five years while adding more products to its portfolio.
These plans have received a new impetus with the entry of the Brazil-based baking giant.
The company has pledged to partner with LiveKuna on superfood innovations, help expand its distribution in North America and increase the network of farmers it works with to source its ingredients.
Grupo Bimbo’’s investment in LiveKuna is the latest by the world’s largest baking company, as it broadens its reach into categories beyond its popular lines of breads, pastries, muffins and bagels.
Grupo Bimbo has so far assembled a portfolio of brands that includes Entenmann’s and Sara Lee baked goods, Thomas’ English muffins and Ball Park buns.
But while the company has a solid foundation with these offerings, it has been investing money into companies such as LiveKuna with a foothold in trendier categories growing in popularity with consumers.
“LiveKuna exceeds the expectations of today’s consumers, delivering clean label snacks and traceable ingredients without sacrificing taste,” said Constantino Matouk, director of Bimbo Ventures, the venture capital arm of Grupo Bimbo.
“As we double down in the better-for-you category, we know LiveKuna — a purpose-led brand committed to sourcing superfood ingredients from family farms — will push the limits of what’s possible in snacking.”
Grupo Bimbo’s investment in LiveKuna is similar to a minority investment it made earlier this year in Rule Breaker Snacks, a maker of vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly treats.
Rule Breaker features chickpeas as the first ingredient in its brownies and blondies. The treats are high in protein and fiber, according to the company.
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