UK dairy-free business The Coconut Collaborative has received investment from US private-equity firm PowerPlant Ventures.

PowerPlant Ventures, which has previously invested in US tortilla chips business Beanfields Snacks and alt-meat company Beyond Meat, has backed the London-based business to the tune of US$7m.

The Coconut Collaborative, which also announced it will be known as The Collaborative in the future, said it has hired former Sabra Dipping Co. executive Meiky Tollman as its new CEO.

The Collaborative was launched in its former guise in 2014 by James Averdieck, who set up UK desserts business Gü in 2003 before selling that company seven years later.

Averdieck added the US to The Collaborative’s roster of markets in 2017 and, after achieving initial listings with US grocer Wegmans, the firm opened an office in Los Angeles in 2018. It is unclear if Averdieck still has a role with the business. 

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In a statement announcing PowerPlant Ventures’ investment, Rampolla, the private-equity firm’s co-founder and partner, said: “At PowerPlant we are constantly on the lookout for plant-based food brands that are providing an answer to consumer demands and challenging the status quo. The Collaborative is doing that as a remarkable brand with a premium breadth of products that combine wholesome goodness, great taste which is equivalent to or better than dairy alternatives, low sugar, and better-for-you ingredients.”

Tollman, most recently Sabra Dipping Co.’s executive vice-president, international and corporate development, added: “For me, coming to The Collaborative is motivating and inspiring to work with one of the fastest-growing category growth drivers of plant-based products on the market that is also purpose-driven.”

just-food approached Averdieck and Rampolla for comment.