Dean Foods has increased its stake in Good Karma Foods – the US producer of flaxseed-based milk and yogurt alternatives – little more than a year after originally taking a minority stake in the business.
The increase in ownership makes the US dairy company the majority shareholder in Good Karma amid continuing uptake for the dairy alternatives category.
Dean Foods CEO Ralph Scozzafava said: “Good Karma is a fast-growing brand that gets us back into the growing plant-based food and beverage category, making it an excellent addition to our portfolio. Our investment in Good Karma is just one example of how we are executing against one of the major pillars of our strategic plan, to build and buy strong brands.
“As majority owners, we look forward to working with Doug and his team to continue their strong momentum and support their growth agenda.”
Good Karma Foods CEO Doug Radi continued: “We are thrilled about our continued partnership with the Dean Foods team. We believe this relationship validates that Good Karma is one of the leading and fastest-growing brands to watch in the plant-based category, and we are excited about how this partnership will advance our mission of inspiring goodness by making our plant-based, non-dairy beverages and yogurts more accessible across the U.S.”
When FoodBev reported on the acquisition of the initial stake in May 2017, Dean Foods said that the partnership would “allow Good Karma to more quickly expand distribution across the US, as well as increase investments in brand building and product innovation”.
It was seen by outsiders as a vote of confidence in the promising dairy alternative yogurt category – and in particular for flaxseed, which has managed to forge a niche for itself alongside more mainstream offerings like almond yogurt and coconut yogurt.
Non-dairy foods have slowly grown in popularity, with more people claiming to be lactose intolerance than ever – despite often having no clinical diagnosis – and many consumers dropping dairy for lifestyle reasons.
That’s despite warnings from a UK charity that dairy-free diets could be bad for consumers’ bone health in later life.
By Alex Clere
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