Last month The Litchfield Fund, a Cleveland-based family investment fund with a focus on the natural and organic food industry, announced equity investments in chewable juice brand Harvest Soul and Skyr smoothie makers B’more Organic.
The investment in Harvest Soul follows the recent news of former Alibaba executive Sanjay Varma investing $500,000 in Chuice, another beverage that falls within the emerging chewable juice sub-category. Like Chuice, Harvest Soul is based out of Atlanta and utilizes the cold pasteurization technology high pressure processing, however Harvest Soul is USDA certified organic and in April achieved Non-GMO Project verification. It’s a distinction the Litchfield Fund’s Chief Business Officer Tom Malengo says will position Harvest Soul to thrive moving forward.
“We’re making these investments for the long term and we believe being organic and non-GMO is key to prospering in the long term,” Malengo said in a call to BevNET.
Malengo declined to disclose the size of the fund’s investments put pointed to the success of chia seed beverage brand Mamma Chia as an indicator of consumers’ readyness for a seemingly bleeding edge product like Harvest Soul, who received its first purchase order from United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) in February ahead of the brand’s official launch in Whole Foods’ Southern Region. .
“Chewable juice is brand new but people are already getting used to this idea that they can chew and drink and it makes sense,” he added.
As for B’more Organic, the Baltimore-based company recently relocated to a larger office space in the city to make space for new staff hires on its sales, marketing and manufacturing teams. The brand has also recently expanded its distribution into Whole Foods’ Mid Atlantic region as well as 50 Safeway supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.