General Mills Gives More Funding to Vegan Dairy Maker

(Bloomberg) -- General Mills Inc. is boosting its bet on nutritious products, leading an additional $40 million of funding for the dairy-free cheese-and-yogurt maker Kite Hill.

The investment, led by the cereal maker’s venture capital arm 301 Inc., will allow Kite Hill to expand factory capacity, Kite Hill Chief Executive Officer Rob Leibowitz said.

Kite Hill, which previously obtained $18 million from 301 Inc. and other investors in 2016, makes almond milk-based yogurts and cream cheeses. The company will also use the new capital to advertise. Their products are sold in Whole Foods Market Inc., Target Corp., Kroger Co. and other national chains.

“Almond milk is the most credible place to be. It provides a great platform for us to grow,” Leibowitz said.

Leibowitz said there was a “tidal wave” of consumer demand for plant-based food, which some perceive as a healthier alternative to dairy products. Big food producers are also being forced to cater to more specialized diets and tastes, as well as demands for environmentally sustainable products.

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