Retail

General Mills Invests A Crisp $6M In Kale Chip Company

The company most known for Cheerios, Pillsbury and Häagen-Dazs ice cream — General Mills — is turning over a new leaf to focus on healthy and trendy options, like dehydrated kale chips. The company said it will focus on the greens for growing the business.

That’s according to Bloomberg, which said that General Mills’ laser focus on growth is due to a slump in the consumer packaged goods industry. Citing falls in these types of consumer purchases, the Minnesota-headquartered company spearheaded a $6 million funding round for the Austin, Texas-based health and vegetable food company Rhythm Superfoods. General Mills has been especially trying to aim its investments on food and eating trends since 2015 when it launched its venture fund, General Mills 301, which competes with the venture funds at both Campbell Soup and Kellogg. 301 invested in Rhythm Superfoods over a year ago, initially with $3 million.

While the kale trend may have subsided, according to Google Trends, Rhythm Superfoods sprouted in the market back in 2010 and seems to have done fairly well. Making more than $10 million in sales in 2016, the company’s executives project that that number will double this year. Rhythm’s Kale Chips, Beet Chips and Broccoli Bites appear in retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Starbucks, Kroger, Publix and more.

In a release, John Haugen, vice president and general manager of 301, said, “Rhythm Superfoods is the first company that 301 Inc. partnered with after launching our strategy in late 2015.”

Some of the other companies that 301 has invested in include vegan cheese maker Kite Hill and vegan burger company Beyond Meat.

After the initial $3 million investment from General Mills and CircleUp last year, Rhythm grew its production, distribution and marketing capabilities. The company said it has plans to add more product offerings to the mix and that General Mills’ food scientists will be helpful in fulfilling that idea.

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