"This investment is a great validation that Purely Elizabeth has become a brand to watch in the natural foods industry,” said Elizabeth Stein, Purely Elizabeth Founder and CEO. “Our strategic partnership allows us to utilize the resources and support of General Mills to boost our new product development, furthering our mission to redefine the standards of packaged foods."
With the investment from 301 INC, General Mills’ business development and venturing unit, Purely Elizabeth joins a list of other companies, including Rhythm Superfoods, Tio Gazpacho, and Farmhouse Culture, which have raised millions of dollars with this venture unit.
In the works: Mushroom powered granola bars
301 INC's minority investment is the first and only outside funding the brand has accepted to date, the company said in a press release, and will allow Purely Elizabeth to launch new lines at a faster pace and continue to stay ahead of the curve on new product innovations.
In late 2016, the company shook things up in the granola space—just one of two segments seeing positive sales growth within the breakfast category—by launching a probiotic line using Ganeden’s BC30 probiotic.
Slated for August 2017, the brand will launch a line of five ‘mushroom-powered Wellness Bars,’ made by combining the Purely Elizabeth Original Ancient Granola combined with Om Mushroom Formula (which has Lion's Mane, antrodia,cordyceps, and reishi) by Organic Mushroom Nutrition.
"Our mission is creating products using innovative ingredients, and after I discovered the extraordinary health benefits of mushrooms and that they have been used for thousands of years to promote health, it seemed like the perfect ingredient to include in our products," Stein told FoodNavigator-USA. "After experimenting and researching for months, our functional Wellness Bars were created with a unique blend of potent nutrients and mushroom powder blends, all while avoiding any of the mushroom taste."
Purely Elizabeth products are currently available in around 10,000 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods nationally, Sprouts, Target, Publix, and Fresh Mart. “Support from 301 INC will propel Purely Elizabeth's continued new product development and will further expedite the brand's growth trajectory in natural and conventional grocery channels,” Stein said.