The investment is part of a strategic collaboration with Post, which will help Hungry Planet expand distribution by leveraging relationships with retailers and distributors, said founders Todd and Jody Boyman, who said the parties may also collaborate on manufacturing and product development.
"Working closely with Post, we are accelerating the breadth of market we can reach by leveraging their established relationships with retailers and distributors," they told FoodNavigator-USA in an emailed statement.
"Additionally, we are partnering with Post to make new, innovative plant-based items that will further grow this exciting market segment."
More protein and fiber, fewer calories, no saturated fat
Founded by the Boymans in 2016, Hungry Planet initially focused on the foodservice market (it's available across the USA through Dot Foods and online at WebstaurantStore.com), but has recently made a push into retail with a new line of pre-cooked products, and now sells products via its own website, costco.com, and soon, Amazon.
While the plant-based meat category is becoming increasingly crowded, Hungry Planet differentiates itself in the market by offering a wider range of products (from beef, pork, chorizo and chicken to crab) with a cleaner label and more attractive nutritional profile, claimed the Boymans, who raised a $5.6m seed round in 2019 and are currently raising a Series A round, in which Post is a participant.
Hungry Planet's classic beef 4oz patty - for example- has more protein (23g) and fiber (9g) than most rivals, including Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, and no saturated fat (it uses sunflower oil rather than hard fats such as coconut oil).
"By superior nutrition we mean roughly half the calories, one quarter the fat, no saturated fat - and importantly packed with protein and fiber," said Jody Boyman.
"That is game changing, because we bring that to the consumer in a delicious and convenient form so it is uniquely positioned to win the largest market segment: flexitarians and meat lovers. That is how the category will become as dominant as plant-based milk and really spur systemic change - by offering a real and tangible benefit for human health."
Best-known for its iconic cereal brands, from Grape Nuts and Weetabix to Raisin Bran, Post Holdings (also based in St Louis, MO) also owns the Michael Foods egg business, refrigerated retail brands such as Simply Potatoes and Crystal Farms (dairy), and has built up a portfolio of nutrition brands including Premier Protein, Powerbar, Joint Juice, Dymatize and Supreme Protein.
It has not to date ventured into the plant-based meat or dairy arena, but struck a deal in May 2020 to manufacture and distribute plant-based brand JUST Egg (via Michael Foods) to foodservice and food ingredient customers.