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January 28, 2021

General Mills leads investment round in UK’s Pot’s & Co

US food heavyweight General Mills has led a funding round in a UK desserts business via its venture-capital fund's first investment overseas.

By Dean Best

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.

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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.

“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."

just-food free-to-read Guide: Big Food's stake in the future – major food group's in-house venture-capital funds and their investments

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VC funding trends to watch out for in Consumer

Consumer industry investors across the world are betting big on the ESG trend to pick up in the future and are focusing on backing the start-ups and emerging companies working in the meat-alternative products category.   The top two deals in this category were the $500 million investment raised by Impossible Foods and the $347 million investment deal for Future Meat Technologies.  GlobalData’s Venture Capital Investments – Consumer 2021 will help you dive into the capital raising landscape across regions and themes.  Use the report to identify emerging signals and trends across Consumer, formulating winning strategies for the road ahead.   
by GlobalData
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