Plant-based nutrition, be it derived from nuts, soy, seeds, peas, hemp, superfoods, or otherwise, has been steadily growing across all temperature states and categories over the last few years. One of the more established segments, plant-based nutrition powders, has seen even more competition for consumer (and investment) dollars after WhiteWave Foods agreed to buy nutrition food company Vega for about $550 million in cash in 2015.
Healthy Skoop, one of the brands in the thick of the fray, announced a $1.1 million dollar raise from new investment group Seurat Capital (a division of CPG consulting brand The Seurat Group). Skoop, which was founded in 2013, well before the Vega sale, is the brainchild of beverage entrepreneurs Dr. James Rouse and Greg Stroh. Rouse and Stroh previously founded Mix1 (an all-natural, RTD protein shake) and Stroh also founded IZZE Beverage Company.
For its investment, Seurat received a minority share in the company and first right of refusal in Skoop’s next round (at which point Seurat’s official fund will be closed).
The funding will go towards expanding Skoop’s presence in retail, marketing and funding inventory. Stroh told NOSH that the brand also will release several new products in the second half of the year. While exact details are not public, Stroh hinted that they will all be plant-based and in the powders category.
One of Skoop’s key areas of focus will be to get into more retailers. While the brand has a strong online ecommerce strategy, it’s currently only sold in Rocky Mountain Region Whole Foods Markets and King Soopers. Stroh says the brand will try to hit more of the West Coast.
While Skoop is seeing growth, Stroh recognizes that competition is fierce right now. “It’s a little bit of an Oklahoma land rush, there’s a lot of competition now,” Stroh said. “I think it’s really having a solid plan and having solid innovation is going to be key to our success.”
At the same time, Stroh says investors realize that this is a hot category. “The investment community obviously got very excited when VEGA was bought by WhiteWave because then there was an exit and bankers love exits,” Strohl told NOSH. “Now there’s a model, can we be number two?”