As part of the deal, the brand is also adding a team of strategic investors including David Heller, Art Wrubel, and David Blitzer to its roster.
Lavva plant-based yogurts are made from nutrient-dense pili nuts (the brand gets its names from the volcanic soil in which the nuts grow), cassava, coconut, and young plantains, and contain no-added sugar, 50 billion live probiotic cultures, and 2g of protein per serving.
The company also produces two plant-based milk SKUs made from pili nuts, unsweetened and chocolate (sweetened with dates), which contain 3-4g of protein and no added sugar, gums, or stabilizers.
“Lavva is what’s next in natural – delicious and nutritious plant-based products aligned with consumer demand for clean, whole food, functional, regenerative ingredients, and convenience,” said Lichtenstein who has helped launch and scale several brands in the natural foods CPG category including Chobani, Stumptown, and Hu.
“Joining forces with these outstanding partners allows us to fortify the supply chain to keep up with demand and to produce additional innovation.”
Still an emerging segment of the broader plant-based foods category, sales of plant-based yogurt grew by 9% to $377m in the 52 weeks ended Dec. 26, 2021, according to SPINS data from the Plant Based Foods Association and the Good Food Institute. Globally, Research & Markets reports that the plant-based yogurt is projected to hit $3.6bn by 2026.
“We are on track to propel the company’s growth by leveraging Next In Natural’s expertise in production, R&D, business development, and marketing, which will help us evolve and reach new audiences," said Lavva founder and chief growth officer Liz Fisher.
Lavva products are sold at major retailers including Whole Foods Market stores nationwide, Wegmans, and Stop & Shop, as well online through Amazon Prime, Instacart, and Good Eggs.
"Our goal is to become known and trusted as one of the few truly healthy and delicious foods at the grocery store," said Fisher.