US food heavyweight General Mills has led a GBP15m (US$20.4m) funding round in London-based Pots & Co., a manufacturer of “handcrafted” puddings for the retail channel.

General Mills’ investment has been made via its venture-capital fund 301 Inc., the unit’s first move outside of the US. The fund has also previously injected cash into Gathered Foods, the US company behind the Good Catch plant-based seafood brand, and Good Culture, a US dairy start-up

No details on the other investors were provided in a statement, although a spokesperson for Pots & Co. said the capital came from existing investors, as well as General Mills.

Pots & Co., founded in 2013, generated sales last year of GBP14m, up from GBP2m in 2014. In the UK, the company supplies Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, and is already present in the US, seeking to use the funds to expand in that market.

John Haugen, the founder and managing director of 301 Inc., said: “Our mission is to discover new and emerging food brands with a remarkable offering. Pots & Co. fulfils that mission with its focus on natural ingredients to create puddings of restaurant quality.

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“As our first overseas investment and first investment in a UK company, we believe Pots & Co. will deliver substantial growth with an increasing range of puddings and with its move into savoury products. We’re excited to partner as the brand expands its presence in the US market.”

The statement read: "Pots & Co will initially supply both its range of unique potted puddings, and longer term, its new savoury, Mezze style dips range, launched in the UK in Selfridges in 2020, to a select number of stores on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountain region," but still produced in the UK.

"This investment will also enable the business to explore manufacturing capabilities in the US as well as invest further into marketing and distributing the brand," it added.
Company founder Julian Dyer said: "We want to create one of the world's leading food brands and we are thrilled that General Mills has invested in Pots & Co., enabling us to speed up the growth of our business and creating fabulous products for the American consumer."

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