Little Moons, a UK-based desserts business, has sold a “significant” minority interest to US private-equity firm L Catterton.

Founded in 2010 by brother and sister Howard and Vivien Wong, Little Moons makes ice cream wrapped in a mochi dough. The products are sold into foodservice and UK retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons. Little Moonds also exports to Europe.

L Catterton, headquartered in Connecticut with US$30bn of assets under management, has invested in the business via its European arm. Financial terms were not disclosed.

In 2020, Little Moons spent GBP3.5m (then $4.5m) on a new factory in Park Royal, London, while retaining its existing plant in Neasden in the UK capital.

Mr Wong said: “This transaction marks an exciting milestone for Little Moons, which began as a small family business 12 years ago, as we capitalise on the explosive demand for our mochi ice cream, both in the UK and internationally.

“We firmly believe that, in L Catterton, we’ve found a partner that shares not only our ambitions but also our values, and their support will help us to scale our reach globally.”

L Catterton has made a number of investments in the pet-food category, most recently marking its entry to China with an undisclosed stake in the Pure & Natural brand owner Shanghai Enova Pet Products.

In human foods, L Catterton acquired a majority stake last year in US-based bakery Kodiak Cakes. It also led a $105m Series B round in Aleph Farms, a cell-based meat business in Israel.

Jean-Philippe Barade, a partner at its European arm, said: “Little Moons has developed a market-defining brand with significant global expansion potential. We see a tremendous opportunity to accelerate growth and expansion not only within the attractive and growing premium ice-cream category, but also within the even larger premium snack category.”