Kite Hill raises $10m to support “dramatic growth” of plant-based dairy empire

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Kite Hill recently unveiled a new logo, strapline, and package design that 'spell out what the products are and what they look like in plain and simple terms.' (Picture: Kite Hill)
Kite Hill recently unveiled a new logo, strapline, and package design that 'spell out what the products are and what they look like in plain and simple terms.' (Picture: Kite Hill)

Related tags Kite Hill plant-based plant-based dairy

Kite Hill – a leading player in the fast-growing plant-based dairy category utilizing cultured almondmilk to create cheeses, yogurts, dips, and filled pastas – has raised an additional $10m to help support its “dramatic growth."

CEO Rob Leibowitz was speaking to FoodNavigator-USA after Kite Hill’s brand owner Lyrical Foods​ revealed in a Sept 6 SEC filing​ that it had secured $10m in equity from a single investor as part of a $15m offering. The remaining $5m has not (yet) been sold.

Including the latest cash injection – which will be spent on innovation, infrastructure, people, and marketing - Lyrical Foods has raised $75.5m since 2014 from backers including General Mills 301 INC and CAVU Venture Partners, ​and has picked up listings in leading retailers from Whole Foods to Kroger, Target, Meijer, and Safeway.

Leibowitz added: “The mainstream consumer is really navigating the plant-based category now and it seems like every day we get a call from another customer requesting a meeting and or taking distribution.”

Beyond almonds

Hayward, CA-based Kite Hill – which expects its business in 2021 will be five times the size it was in 2017 – recently unveiled a new logo, package design and strapline (‘plant based artisans’), the effects of which it expects to start impacting the brand in Q4 of this year and in the first quarter of next year.

The almond teardrops deployed in earlier packaging iterations have been replaced with a new logo, reflecting the fact that the brand does not have to remain tethered to almonds as its core source material, said Leibowitz.

“Everything we do here is about making great tasting foods, and where it makes sense, we’ll definitely be exploring plant bases that go well beyond almond. We’ve got a three year pipeline that crosses multiple plant bases and multiple product platforms.”

Kite-Hill Portfolio 3D
Kite Hill – which was founded by vegan celebrity chef Tal Ronnen, cheesemaker Monte Casino and acclaimed Stanford biochemist (and Impossible Foods founder) Dr Pat Brown – has recently launched new plant-based dips (French Onion and Ranch), two new varieties of cream cheese-style spreads (Everything and Strawberry), raspberry yogurt, and tortellini filled with almondmilk-based ricotta.
Kite-Hill new look yogurts
Left (old iterations of the packaging) to right (the latest look): “We felt like our original design didn’t really pop at shelf and make people feel that there is mouthwatering food inside,” Kite Hill CEO Leibowitz told us in March 2019. “The new design does a better job at standing out at retail and letting people know that what’s inside tastes great.”

How are parents incorporating plant-based alternatives into their children’s diets? And what are the nutritional implications? Hear from Michele DeKinder-Smith​​​​​​ at Linkage Research & Consulting at the 2019 FoodNavigator-USA FOOD FOR KIDS summit​​​​​​ in Chicago. November 18-20.

Checkout the latest speakers​​​​​​ and register HERE​​​​ 


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