Organic coconut beverage brand Harmless Harvest today announced it has raised $30 million in growth capital in an investment round led by Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of French multinational food and beverage corporation Danone.
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Gary Hirshberg, the co-founder and chairman of dairy company Stonyfield Farm and a highly influential figure in the organic food movement, shares war stories ranging from the company’s pastoral beginnings, to its decade-long struggle for financing, and on to its eventual sale, mining them for wisdom that will resonate with any food and beverage professional.
As numerous clinical studies confirm the gut benefits touted by brands, probiotics’ popularity with consumers has rocketed and the inclusion of these tiny gut bugs in beverage has sent waves through the industry.
In this video, recently filmed at Harmless Harvest headquarters in San Francisco, we sat down with CEO Giannella Alvarez, who discussed the development of the line, the company’s decision to innovate with probiotics, and how the products fit into its new zero-waste initiative.
On Tuesday Harmless Harvest announced in a statement emailed to BevNET that it had agreed to settle the lawsuit, citing a desire to avoid a long and costly legal battle. However, the company “vigorously” denied any wrongdoing and liability and asserted the legitimacy of its organic certification. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
The large format 32-ounce bottle contains four individual servings, encouraging consumers to enjoy great tasting, hydration throughout the day. The company continues to offer their 8.75- and 16-ounce sizes.
Harmless Harvest, which pioneered and leads the super-premium segment of the coconut water category, has filed a lawsuit claiming that labels and packaging for Vita Coco’s new Coco Community line are “confusingly similar” to its own.