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July 23, 2020

Kraft Heinz leads investment round in sweet protein firm Joywell Foods

Kraft Heinz has backed a protein ingredients firm in the US through its venture-capital fund, along with other investors.

By Dean Best

US food major Kraft Heinz has backed protein ingredients firm Joywell Foods in California through its venture-capital fund Evolv Ventures. 

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  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
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The Heinz ketchup owner led a US$6.9m Series A round with participation from existing investors Khosla Ventures and SOSV, along with Alumni Ventures Group and unnamed others. Joywell Foods said the new funding brings its investment to date to $13.2m following a previous seed round in which Khosla Ventures and SOSV took part.

Joywell Foods, previously trading as Miraculex and co-founded by Jason Ryder, describes itself as a “food technology company developing a sweet protein portfolio” from plants and fermentation technology.

It has conducted a toxicology study on the berry protein commonly known as miraculin and has filed three provisional patent applications. At the same time, the company has “commercialised a first-to-market protein sweetened concept – the Pop Lolly – a reduced sugar popsicle product utilising miraculin as a sweetener”.   

Steve Sanger, the founder and partner of Evolv Ventures, will become a member of the Joywell board.

He said in a statement: “We believe in the sweet protein space and its application in consumer products. Joywell Foods is a thought leader in this area and is pioneering solutions that enable great taste and reduce mainstream sugar consumption. The company has the potential to make a big impact in the sweet protein space.”

The funds will be used to “enable the build-out of its proprietary technology platform, broaden its sweet protein portfolio and expand R&D operations. The company also plans to test a number of consumer offerings through D2C and limited retail,” Joywell said in the statement.

Karen Huh, the CEO of Joywell Foods, added: “Our team is excited to bring sweet proteins to commercial scale with the support of our newest investor, Evolv Ventures. These funds bring us one step closer to our vision of eliminating the prevalence of sugar in our diet. Sweet proteins – many of which are over 1000 times sweeter than sugar – can reduce how much sugar we consume in our daily lifestyle.”

Read Big Food’s stake in the future – in-house venture-capital funds

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What’s the forecast for the food and grocery industry?

The food and grocery sector thrived during the pandemic, largely due to the shutdown of the food service industry and the sector’s subsequent necessity, panic-induced bulk purchasing, and spending more time at home. The market has grown as a result of inflation. Consumer unwillingness to go out and socialize, and the reopening of several hospitality facilities, helped maintain the demand for groceries, particularly online, in 2021. As consumer behavior changes, we consume more food and drink at home, and inflation increases basket sizes. GlobalData predicts that the sector will continue to hold a higher share than had been predicted prior to the pandemic. This is true despite the fact that the food and grocery sector's share of overall retail will decline from its peak in 2020. This report will discuss market forecasts and key themes in the global food & grocery industry in 2022 and beyond. It covers:
  • Market drivers and inhibitors
  • Five-year forecasts and the impact of COVID-19
  • The performance of the online channel versus offline
  • Major trends in the market including rapid delivery, ambient retailing, supply chain disruption, and inflation
Assess developments within this sector to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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