John Kell – Kellogg’s investment fund has led a fundraising round by plant-based smoothies maker Bright Greens, another bet by the cereal giant to pursue breakfast alternatives that have becoming increasingly popular with consumers.
On Thursday, Bright Greens will announce that it raised $2 million in a seed round led by eighteen94 capital, the venture capital fund that debuted last summer with plans to invest about $100 million into startups that are pioneering new ingredients, foods and packaging. The idea is to take minority stakes in those newer, disruptive food companies to support their growth, mainly through the expertise Big Food makers like Kellogg can bring to packaging, marketing and distribution. This trend has become popular—General Mills and Campbell Soup also have VC funds—as Big Food makers suffer from slow sales for legacy brands as consumers tilt toward healthier fare offered by newer brands.
“We are casting our net pretty widely so we don’t miss the next trend or idea that could grow into the next trend,” said Simon Burton, managing director of eighteen94 capital, in an interview with Fortune to explain Kellogg’s investment strategy. “You have to be open-minded about where you go looking.” As part of the funding, Burton is joining Bright Greens’ board.
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