Allergy-friendly cookie company Partake Foods gets $4.8M to fuel expansion

Dive Transient:

  • Partake Meals closed a $4.8 million Collection A funding spherical with participation from CircleUp Development Companions, Jay-Z’s Marcy Enterprise Companions (MVP), Lotus Bakeries’ company enterprise fund FF2032, Black Capital, Black Star Fund, Once Upon a Farm CEO John Foraker, Seattle Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner and recording artist Rihanna. CircleUp accomplice Aditi Sprint and Past Meat Chief Development Officer Chuck Muth, a present investor, will be a part of the board.
  • In a blog post on the funding announcement, Sprint cited Partake’s omnichannel enchantment, together with its on-line visitors progress and social following. The cookie firm additionally expanded from 200 to 2,700 shops in 2020, and plans to develop to five,500 retailers by the tip of the primary quarter of 2021. Retail companions embody Goal, Complete Meals Market, Sprouts and The Contemporary Market.
  • With meals allergic reactions affecting one in four consumers, allergy-friendly meals choices have been on the rise. Partake, which provides 10 flavors of cookies in addition to a baking combine, appeals to those consumers in addition to these looking for manufacturers which are plant-based, gluten-free, low-sugar and dairy-free. The corporate produces vegan cookies which are free from the highest eight allergens, in addition to containing no mustard, sulfite, sesame, synthetic flavors, preservatives or GMOs.

Dive Perception:

The rising severity of allergic reactions to meals containing the commonest eight allergens — dairy, soy, eggs, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish — and rising client consciousness of the problem has led to a proliferation of allergy-friendly meals to hit cabinets, usually with the assist of Huge Meals.

Partake Meals was began in 2016 after Denise Woodard had problems finding snacks for her daughter, who has a number of meals allergic reactions. The corporate that the previous Coca-Cola government began took a variety of work to get off the bottom. Woodard told Food Dive this summer that for years to start with, she was simply barely scraping by. However curiosity within the model and a push by customers to assist Black-owned companies final 12 months helped Partake recover from the hill. The most recent spherical of traders consists of each outstanding Black funders and celebrities, but in addition large names in pure and natural meals.

Allergy-friendly meals, which was as soon as seen as area of interest, is attending to be large enterprise. A 2019 study found that about 11% of American adults even have a meals allergy. Analysis final 12 months from Meals Allergy Analysis and Training discovered that one in four people in the United States — greater than 85 million customers — avoids shopping for meals with one of many high eight allergens or sesame. Spending on this space is $19 billion yearly, with an annual progress price of 27%.

In a blog post describing why CircleUp determined to put money into Partake, Sprint mentioned that whereas allergy-friendly meals is turning into extra necessary to customers, the model is rising for different causes. Information gathered by CircleUp’s Helio system, which the group makes use of to research manufacturers, confirmed solely 23% of Partake’s product critiques point out meals allergic reactions. Reviewers are additionally speaking about how the merchandise are vegan, wholesome and low in sugar — all fashionable areas in meals immediately.

Startups like Partake aren’t the one ones seeing the expansion potential in allergy-friendly meals. Mondelez acquired the Enjoy Life brand in 2015, a maker of snacks free from 14 widespread allergens. In 2018, Nestlé developed its Toll Home Merely Scrumptious Morsels, that are freed from eight allergens. In 2019, Nestlé Well being Science took a minority stake in Before Brands, the corporate behind SpoonfulOne, a product for infants and babies meant to cut back the danger of creating allergic reactions to 16 meals. And final 12 months, Nestlé bought Aimmune Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical firm that goals to cut back youngsters’s allergic reactions to peanuts.

In keeping with Mordor Intelligence, the global free-from food market is projected to have a compound annual progress price of 9.5% from 2020 via 2025, pushed by curiosity in dairy-free and gluten-free segments. The recognition of merchandise free from these two main elements has inspired large manufacturers like Mondelez-owned Oreo to dip its toes into the area, and profit from its allergy-friendly affiliation.

That mentioned, the allergy-friendly area continues to be new, making up solely about 0.5% of the cookie and cracker class, however rising at a price of 9%, according to Nielsen data from 2018. Partake is an early trailblazer and stays considered one of a handful of corporations devoted to producing allergy-free cookies. With snacking persevering with to serve as a lifeline for customers through the pandemic, Partake is positioned as a model that anybody can get pleasure from, giving it loads of runway for progress.

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