Monogram Capital Partners, Emil Capital Partners, and AccelFoods led the Series C funding round, which Cohen said will be used to fuel the company's "aggressive plans" to define the category of frozen kids food.
Entering its 10th year in business, Kidfresh has become the #1 fastest growing brand of natural better-for-you frozen kids’ meals which feature a cleaner ingredient than competitors with hidden vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, and butternut squash.
"We are here to own the category. When I say, ‘own the category’ I mean beyond the better-for-you segment... really owning the frozen kids food category as a whole," Cohen told FoodNavigator-USA.
The ambition is a lofty one, considering the frozen food category is projected to reach $366.3bn by 2026 at a CAGR of 3.2%, according to Reports and Data.
But according to Cohen, Kidfresh has some major untapped distribution opportunities in c-store, drug, club, and online channels.
C-store and drug store channels combined represent almost 175,000 doors in the US, most of which don't stock KidFresh products currently.
"We have a legitimate role to play in those doors with one or two items. There should be chicken nuggets, and it should our chicken nuggets in those stores," said Cohen.
E-commerce, playing to win
The brand also has a significant opportunity to develop the e-commerce business within its existing accounts, which according to Cohen, need constant monitoring on the part of brand owners.
"With all the click and collect capabilities, curbside pickups, it’s very important for us to be very well positioned on each of these retailers’ websites, and it takes an effort. It takes a team, it takes resources. The infrastructure is there, but they do rely on the brands to manage their online presence. It takes a very proactive strategy and resources to put in place to do that," said Cohen. "If you don't monitor it as a brand, you have a chance to fail online."
Kidfresh recently performed an audit of all of its online product listings at each of the company's major accounts making sure the correct products, images, descriptions, and price points appear on the page.
"We were seeing packaging images from five or six years ago," said Cohen.
With the audit completed, Kidfresh is primed to maximize its online retail presence and expects to drive more online sales of its products, added Cohen.
"It’s growing extremely fast," he said.
'We tried to elevate the brand in terms of perception of quality'
Cohen said that its new branding projects a cleaner, less-juvenile image. One of the major changes to the packaging will be the departure of its impish boy mascot (known internally as 'Sprouty') from all the packaging, replaced with bolder, cleaner typography that draws attention to the quality and nutrition benefits of its frozen products, said Cohen.
"We tried to elevate the brand in terms of perception of quality. The reality is that our product is of excellent quality, and we wanted to convey that better than before. We wanted to simplify the messaging around the product, the product name, and the key nutritional benefits," Cohen said.
"Overall, making it a little bit less toddler oriented, and more kids-focused in general."
Interested in developing healthier foods and beverages for kids?
Join FoodNavigator-USA in Chicago in November for our third FOOD FOR KIDS summit to find out what large and small companies are doing to create products that kids want to eat, and parents and caregivers can feel good about buying.