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Kellogg’s eighteen94 Makes Second Investment

June 19, 2017

Kellogg’s venture capital fund eighteen94 has led a $2 million seed round for innovative plant-based smoothie company Bright Greens. The round also included Blu Venture Investors and CircleUp.

Continuing Kellogg’s strategic goal of diversifying through investing in alternative breakfast options, this investment in Bright Greens marks the second investment for eighteen94 since its launch last year.

The fund’s first investment was made in January of this year when it took the lead in a $4.25 million Series A for Kuli Kuli – a manufacturer and distributor of moringa-based bars, powders, and energy shots. Additional investors in the round include S2G Ventures and InvestEco.

Following the same path as General Mills and Campbell’s before it, Kellogg’s launched eighteen94 as a vehicle through which to identify and gain exposure to successful, on-point food startups that tap into up-to-the-minute consumer tastes. Over the next five years, the fund plans to invest up to a total of $100 million (sourced from Kellogg’s corporate balance sheet) through commitments of between $1 million and $3 million in Series A and B rounds.

“The rate of innovation across our industry has picked up dramatically. Things are changing quickly, and investing is a great way to get a sense of what’s going to be important in the future,” said Simon Burton, managing director of eighteen94.

The food industry can get a glimpse of what direction the sector is moving through recent data. A recent report issued by PwC states that 47 percent of millennial consumers have changed their diets within the past year to reflect a more healthy lifestyle, according to Food Dive. Furthermore, 53 percent of consumers under the age of 35 responded that they intended to make healthier food choices within the next year.

A Bright Start

Founded through the Washington D.C.-based food incubator Union Kitchen in 2015 by Brian Mitchell, Bright Greens produces frozen smoothie cubes in four flavors: Bright Blueberry, Mintergreen, Peaches & Green, and Pineapolis. By simply adding hot water to the cubes and shaking, consumers can make a cold, fresh, convenient, and nutritious green smoothie.

“Our Bright Greens smoothies are a quick and delicious way of getting healthy fruits and vegetables without added sugar or preservatives,” Mitchell added. “The smoothies have a short list of natural ingredients making them a nutritious and delicious way to start your day.”

“Bright Greens is reimagining the smoothie, making it more convenient for consumers to get their fruits and vegetables,” said Burton. “We are very impressed with the innovative form factor Brian developed, and we see enormous potential for Bright Greens given the demand for convenience in our culture.”

Mitchell told Fortune that when Bright Greens was launched, the goal in mind was “to give you something that is as close to the ground if you were to pull it out of the garden and blend it.” Now, with backing from Kellogg’s, Bright Greens will be able to fund the expansion of its team, and to increase production.

For Kellogg’s, the addition of an innovative and promising startup such as Bright Greens to its portfolio gives the iconic consumer packaged breakfast company the potential for growth that can extend through many years or even decades.

“Bright Greens is an innovation that would be difficult to approve internally,” said CircleUp founder Rory Eakin. “But Kellogg wants to win in breakfast and they know healthy snacks are trending. Bright Greens is a fit for their [longer term] growth plans.”

-Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan is Editor with GAI Media and daily contributor to GAI News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@globalaginvesting.com.

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