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News for June 1, 2022

Recent Transactions in the Nutrition and Health & Wellness Industry:

Granarolo acquires a majority stake in White & Seeds

Italian dairy manufacturer Granarolo has acquired a 51% stake in White & Seeds with the possibility of buying the remaining shares in the next few years. White & Seed sells dairy and snack products such as yogurt, bars, muesli, porridge and spreads. Granarolo has been focusing its attention on products that promote well-being and sustainability. White & Seeds founders are sports lovers and expert nutritionists who cater to an audience attentive to wellness but lacking in time and looking for natural ingredients and flavors.

Seed investment plants Heywell as the fastest-growing sparkling adaptogenic water brand

Female-founded Heywell received a seed investment from Masterfund, a venture capital investment firm based in Seattle, WA, that invests in women-led, revenue-positive startups. Spins data reports that the $5.2 billion natural energy and other functional beverages market is growing at 24.6%, powered by Gen Z and Millennial consumers’ quest for cleaner plant-based products. Heywell was an Expo West 2022 NEXTY Awards finalist.

Slutty Vegan to open 20 new locations with a $25M investment

Atlanta-based Slutty Vegan currently has five locations and will expand to another 20 fast-food chain locations thanks to a $25 million Series A funding round. The expertise of investors from New Voices Fund and Danny Meyer will help build a vegan comfort food empire. Locations are planned for Brooklyn and Baltimore. The funding will also be used to hire chief operations and marketing officers. The black female-founded startup has seen rapid growth and is also currently selling dips distributed in Atlanta grocery chains. It is important to Pinky Cole, Slutty Vegan’s founder, to promote BIPOC community health and food equity.

Investors have an appetite for mycelium

Mycelium continues to trend this year as more startups aim to bring the plant-based meat alternative to the shelf. The latest startup to receive funding is Bosque Foods, with a $3 million seed round. A challenge with mycelium that has given some investors pause is the difficulty with scaling production. What is different with Berlin-based Bosque foods is that they grow big slabs of mycelium in a bioreactor used for solid-state fermentation instead of fermentation in a liquid cell culture bioreactor tube. These slabs can be cut into something that closely resembles a pork or chicken cutlet. Producing alt-meat that resembles real cuts of meat and not ground meat is usually one of the biggest challenges when it comes to alt-meats texture.

Plant-based cheese startup sets its sights on new European markets

Dutch-based startup Willicroft has secured a €2 million seed investment led by Paulig’s venture arm PINC and Rockstart. The investment will bring Willicroft’s range of plant-based cheeses to the U.K., Germany and Nordic Markets. It will also help the brand bring on senior talent, fast-track its product evolution and continue to become the world’s first net-positive plant-based cheese company. Rockstart said of the brand, “Willicroft is taking plant-based dairy alternatives to the next level. Alongside making delicious products, they are helping farmers to transition to sustainable production by enabling a local supply chain without the need for monocropping or highly processed ingredients. They have spent the last years understanding their consumers and their footprint, and the next phase will be to put those learnings to scale.”

How do you like your eggs? Yo! Egg is helping restaurant patrons answer plant-based

Yo! Egg has announced that it plans to launch in U.S. restaurants this year with its plant-based sunny side up and poached eggs. Yo! Egg hopes to tackle the unsustainable amount of water required for producing eggs and the risk of diseases transferred from the animals to humans. The plant-based egg market is expected to grow steadily over the coming years to reach up to $800 million in value by 2027. Many other plant-based egg companies start by creating a liquid or powdered egg, but Yo! Egg is taking on producing the whole egg. The brand’s sunny side up egg and poached eggs have already been successful at restaurants in Israel. The brand is also working on hard-boiled, scrambled and baking varieties.

HUNGRY, the tech catering platforming, is adding NatureBox to its plate

HUNGRY is a technology platform that caters to and delivers different snack varieties. The platform is backed by Jay-Z’s Marcy Partners and has gained momentum as people return to the office. HUNGRY’S acquisition of NatureBox will allow it to add more snack varieties to its platform and revenue. CEO Jeff Gras said, “NatureBox had previously raised roughly $60 million in venture capital funding. We project that NatureBox will add at least 20% to HUNGRY’s overall revenue in 2022, and we expect our business to double in sales in 2023.”

Nestlé to expand its health portfolio in Brazil with the acquisition of Puravida

Nestlé Health Science reached an agreement to acquire Puravida, a Brazilian nutrition and health lifestyle brand. Puravida produces nutritional supplements, protein powders and ready to drink beverages under the belief that vitamins and minerals play a vital role in our health and wellness. This acquisition will expand Nestlé’s consumer health portfolio in Brazil. Nestlé Health Science Latam said of the acquisition that “Bringing together Puravida and Nestlé Health Science’s deep expertise in nutrition research and development will result in further innovation, expanding the breadth and depth of the portfolio in the consumer and healthcare professional channels. Our retail presence will open new opportunities for Puravida’s growth and our strong network with healthcare professionals will expand the brand’s presence.”

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