Danone, through its Danone Manifesto Ventures unit, has invested in plant-based food and beverage firm Forager Project.
Forager Project, which manufactures a range of dairy-free yogurts and milks, said the collaboration will help it build its portfolio, enhance sustainable sourcing and production, increase brand awareness and widen distribution.
San Francisco-based Forager Project is a family-owned company that has been making plant-based foods since 2013.
Founder and CEO Stephen Williamson said: “John Charles and I have spent three years getting to know Jean-Francois, Laurent and the Danone Manifesto Ventures team. It’s the right time and they are the right partner – good people with leverageable, relevant experience and capital.”
Danone Manifesto Ventures said it believes Forager Project is a “unique brand with strong potential” in the fast-growing plant-based space.
Laurent Marcel, CEO of Danone Manifesto Ventures, said: “Forager Project and Danone have highly aligned values focused on improving human and planet health through food, and a shared commitment to sustainable, enduring business growth.”
Jean-Francois Hurel, chief investment officer for Danone Manifesto Ventures, added: “Over the years we had the chance to develop a special relationship with Stephen and his talented team, and today we’re very excited to start this partnership with Forager Project.”
Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of Danone, launched in 2016 with the mission to support innovative and healthy food and beverage companies.
Through the unit, Danone makes investments and provides financial and operational support to its portfolio companies through access to its teams around the world.
Danone Manifesto Ventures has invested in companies such as Harmless Harvest, Farmer’s Fridge and Sustainable Bioproducts in the US, Michel et Augustin and Yooji in France, as well as Epigamia in India.
Last year, Danone revealed plans to triple the size of its plant-based business by 2025 by combining its position in the dairy industry with the high plant-based growth potential.
In February, Danone North America opened a new building at its DuBois, Pennsylvania, facility to increase production of its plant-based foods.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019