Good Culture lands $64m Series C funding: 'Many nutrient dense, cultured food categories are on the table for innovation'

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo Credit: Good Culture
Photo Credit: Good Culture

Related tags Good Culture Fermented foods Cottage cheese Funding

Good Culture, best-known for disrupting the cottage cheese category with its clean label formulation, has just secured $64m in Series C funding to drive continued expansion of its healing cultured foods platform.

The recent round of funding was led by Manna Tree with participation from SEMCAP Food & Nutrition and celebrity investor, Kristen Bell. 

The capital injection will help Good Culture reach new consumer audiences and innovate beyond its current product lines of cottage cheese and sour cream.

The company will use a portion of the funding to provide liquidity to some early shareholders in the brand including CAVU Venture Partners.

'The Good Culture business is on fire in conventional retailers'

Launched in 2015 by Jesse Merrill -- who had personal experience healing his own chronic inflammatory gut disease by eating a diet rich in fermented dairy foods -- Good Culture has been on an exponential growth path for the past seven years with no signs of slowing down.

According to the company, it has experienced a 79% CAGR over the last five years while increasing its distribution footprint to over 10,000 stores. Good Culture is also the fastest growing cottage cheese brand in MULO and natural channels where it has become #1 cottage cheese brand in the natural channel and the #1 natural cottage cheese brand in MULO. 

"The Good Culture business is on fire in conventional retailers,"​ Merrill told FoodNavigator-USA.

Merrill said the company generated around $70m in retail sales for the latest 52 weeks with plans to hit $100m in revenue by the end of 2022. 

"We continue to see huge growth potential in cultured dairy. There is increasing research linking cultured dairy foods to greater microbiome diversity and that has benefits for gut health, brain health, heart health, inflammation and immune systems. We are just at the beginning of learning and teaching people about these benefits,"​ Merrill said. 

Merrill said the company will continue its disruption of the cottage cheese and sour cream categories and will continue to lead those segments in terms of innovation, but that there are many opportunities beyond cultured dairy that the company is exploring. 

"We will contemplate launching new, healing, cultured foods more broadly in the future. I can’t say what categories Good Culture will and will not go into right now, but many nutrient dense, cultured food categories are on the table for innovation."

“Good Culture has revolutionized the long-overlooked cottage cheese and sour cream categories... and we are confident that we can help Good Culture build on its strong foundation to become the leading cultured dairy brand,”​ ​commented Manna Tree Director, Sylvio Petto Neto. 

Merrill also noted that as a certified B-Corp, Good Culture will continue to deepen its commitment to sustainable and regenerative farming practices by building out its pasture-raised supply chain. 

Good Culture partnered with the Dairy Farmers of America in February 2021 on the Path to Pasture program​​​ to transition conventional dairy farms to meet regenerative agriculture practices and ensure all dairy cows have pasture to graze. 

Recharged marketing efforts

Evolving from a cottage cheese and sour cream brand to a healing cultured food company will require significant marketing initiatives, acknowledged Merrill, who said Good Culture will be using some of the new funding to expand its marketing efforts. 

"We are focused on innovative marketing initiatives that will help us break through to more consumers. We will become increasingly more focused on awareness-driving marketing initiatives in addition to keeping a lot of weight against performance-based efforts. We also intend to continue growing our internal marketing team with best-in-class talent. You’ll see more integrated campaigns from us, including leveraging influencers and events to drive reach with our target consumer," ​he said. 

"We will be focused on scaling our manufacturing capacity to keep up with our growing demand."

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