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October 17, 2019

Danone makes “minority investment” in US plant-based dairy business Forager Project

French dairy giant Danone has invested in a US plant-based organic dairy company through its venture capital fund.

By Dean Best

French dairy giant Danone has taken a “minority investment” in US plant-based organic dairy company Forager Project through its venture capital fund.

Located in San Francisco, Forager Project’s portfolio includes cashew-based products such as yogurt and milk, along with sour cream and a range of protein and probiotic shakes. The family business was established in 2013 by Stephen Williamson, who is also its chief executive, and John-Charles Hanley.

In a statement, Danone said Danone Manifesto Ventures will continue to build Forager’s range of “innovative products, enhance sustainable sourcing and production, increase brand awareness and widen distribution”. The venture fund was formed in 2016 with a “mission to support innovative and healthy food and beverage companies, and partners with disruptive entrepreneurs that share its vision of a healthy and sustainable future”. 

Laurent Marcel, the CEO of Danone Manifesto Ventures, said: “Forager Project and Danone have highly-aligned values focused on improving human and planet health through food, and a shared commitment to sustainable, enduring business growth.” 

Its chief investment officer, Jean-Francois Hurel, added: “Over the years, we had the chance to develop a special relationship with Stephen and his talented team, and today we’re very excited to start this partnership with Forager Project.” 

Forager Project’s product line-up includes organic, dairy-free cashew milk, probiotic Cashewgurt, Cashewgurt yogurt, and also corn- and gluten-free organic tortilla chips made with brown rice, kale and spinach.

Read just-food’s analysis – Big Food’s stake in the future – in-house venture-capital foods

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