Plant protein brand KOS closes $2.1M funding round after triple-digit growth
The new money will fund product innovation, expand distribution into new markets and strengthen the brand’s marketing presence — something Genevieve Gilbreath said is already a strong suit for KOS.
Gilbreath, co-founder/general partner of Springdale Ventures and a KOS board member, pointed out that KOS has taken an innovative approach both in terms of go-to market strategy, effectiveness in connecting with consumers in a digital environment and maintaining a strong company culture in a booming space since launching in 2018.
Allan Stevens, KOS co-founder, explained that the company launched as a digitally native brand leveraging Amazon, Facebook and Instagram. “We used the direct connection we established with our online customers in combination with marketplace data to select new products to launch and ingredients to include in our blend. We have since built a community of engaged customers and ambassadors that continue to be our guiding light. That momentum has opened a significant number of retail doors in a short period of time with over 5400 total points of distribution in just over a year's time. Furthermore, we've taken a completely different approach from traditional supplement and sport nutrition lines with our labels, branding, and messaging. We want to make it easier for the everyday consumer to get more plant based options into their diet, shift views away from simply supplementation of nutrition to elimination and replacement of unhealthy alternative norms.”
High growth category
KOS’ latest fundraising comes as the growth of the plant-based market shows no sign of slowing down, despite being in the midst of a global pandemic.
Indeed, the company witnessed a 271% increase in sales between July 2019 and July 2020. Kos has also entered into 5,400 new points of distribution in 2020 including Whole Foods Market, Kroger, SafeMart and other large grocery chains.
“COVID has underscored the importance of good health during this time, reduced the number of meals eaten out and shifted in-store visits to online, an area KOS is well equipped to serve. We have been one of the fortunate few to see growth throughout this period which has been attractive to investors," observed Stevens.
With triple-digit growth so far this year, Stevens added that KOS is currently the number-one selling brand in the plant-based protein category on Amazon and it recently expanded its portfolio with new functional blends.
KOS has several plant-based protein powder and chewable offerings. The company noted that environmental and health conscious consumers are increasingly opting for vegan alternatives.
“KOS’s ability to reach people across all dietary preferences makes them a company destined for great things and we are happy to partner with them as they scale the business to new heights,” said Jim Schneider, Horizon Bank chairman and former Dell CFO.
Looking ahead, Stevens told NutraIngredients-USA that KOS plans to spearhead a new rising tide of consciousness. “In the coming months, our marketing will further move into areas that focus on community, sustainability, education and impact. We will continue to further expand our strategic retail partnerships and will scale digitally across top international markets with an authentic global message of nutritional healing.”