Danone’s investment arm has led a $30 million funding round in US coconut water brand Harmless Harvest.
As well as Danone Manifesto Ventures, Harmless Harvest has secured support from Mousse Partners as well as other existing and new shareholders like AccelFoods.
The brand makes organic coconut water which is produced through a micro-filtration process. Founded in 2010, it aims to respond to the growing demand for natural and healthy beverages. It has obtained the Fair for Life certification which recognises its sustainable business practices.
Harmless Harvest intends to use the investment to support its growth initiatives by increasing and optimising sustainable production capacity, raising brand awareness and expanding distribution to meet consumer demand.
A report published last year revealed that the global coconut water market is expected to grow at a compound rate of 26.75% until 2020. Volumes are said to have been driven by the trend towards healthy hydration, as consumers seek alternatives to sugar-sweetened soft drinks.
Speaking of the investment, Danone Manifesto Ventures managing director Laurent Marcel said: “Harmless Harvest is a unique US brand with a strong consumer base and a great growth potential in the attractive plant-based category. Harmless Harvest and Danone have highly aligned values combining business growth ambitions with a commitment to healthier nutrition and sustainable business practices.
“We look forward to leveraging our expertise and resources to help Harmless Harvest reach its full potential, while maintaining the unique DNA that has enabled its success.”
Launched at the end of 2016, Danone Manifesto Ventures has invested in Hawaiian bottled water brand Kona Deep as well as French baby food start-up Yooji, among others.
Last year, Danone sold its Stonyfield organic yogurt business to Lactalis for $875 million in a move to help expedite its $10.4 billion acquisition of WhiteWave Foods.
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