US mission-focused healthy cereal business The Soulfull Project has become an independent concern after severing its links with food giant Campbell Soup Co. which was a backer of the venture.

The Philadelphia hot cereal company said: “In just over two years of business with initial backing from Campbell Soup Company, The Soulfull Project is now an independent entity – operating on its own and continuing to make strides in fighting hunger from coast to coast.”

The concept was developed by four Campbell Soup Co. employees and the group has operated as an independent subsidiary of the company until now.

Two of those co-founders, Chip Heim and Megan Shea, acquired Soulfull from Campbell on 28 October for an undisclosed amount. It is now a completely independent entity with no on-going equity relationship with Campbell. 

Shea told just-food: “With the shift in focus at Campbell, we negotiated the spin out of Soulfull so that we can continue to grow this business as it scales nationally. We are grateful to Campbell as they incubated this company through its development and initial launch.”

In a statement sent to just-food, Campbell said: “Campbell recently announced plans to focus the company on our two core North American businesses – snacks and meals and beverages – where we have strong capabilities and our brands possess leadership positions in attractive categories. As a result, we are no longer funding start-ups outside our core capabilities, such as The Soulfull Project.

“We are proud to have been a part of The Soulfull Project and what they accomplished at Campbell. They have a powerful mission that resonates with both customers and consumers and drives meaningful community impact. We wish them the best as they continue to make wholesome, nutritious food accessible to people in need.”

The Soulfull Project, which recently reached the milestone of one million donated servings, operates a ‘buy one, give one’ business model in an attempt to make nutritious food more accessible to those in need. For every serving purchased, the company donates a serving of its hot cereal to a food bank in that region.

Its cereals are available at retailers including Wegman’s and it has recently announced a distribution deal with Sprouts Farmers Market with a similar deal with Safeway is lined up. It also sells via Amazon.

Chip Heim, co-founder of The Soulfull Project, said: “We’ve partnered with more than 200 regional food banks across the country and with our new Sprouts partnership we will be able to make an even bigger impact.”

just-food interview from March 2017: Expo West – The Soulfull Project expanding its mission nationwide