Artisan plant-based dairy leader Miyoko’s Creamery has secured $52 million in a Series C funding round. It comes ahead of the brand’s upcoming plant-based liquid mozzarella launch, which pours out like a sauce for pizzas. The funds will be used to expand distribution, accelerate innovation and revamp its “fan-favourite” vegan cheese and butter products.
Miyoko’s Creamery, the Californian startup pioneering artisan vegan cheese, closed its Series C funding round with $52 million on Wednesday (August 4). The round was led by PowerPlant Partners, the plant-based VC co-founded by Veggie Grill’s T.K. Pillan, alongside participating investors Cult Capital, Obvious Ventures, Stray Dog, and CPT Capital.
Miyoko’s says that the proceeds will go towards accelerating global distribution of its range, expanding its product line and revamping its existing top-sellers. It comes amid surging growth for the plant-based market, with vegan cheese and butter being key categories to watch.
Cheese and butter: the future of vegan dairy
The Californian brand says the funding will help it build out its range, as plant-based cheese and butter become increasingly popular with consumers. While plant-based milk remains the dominant category within the vegan dairy sector, experts estimate that the plant-based cheese market is set to double to more than US$4.5 billion by 2025.
“Mintel’s latest report cited that vegan cheese grew 42 percent last year, which is more than two times the 18% growth of dairy cheese. Clearly, plant-based cheese and butter are disrupting traditional dairy and the top one to two brands will capture the majority of the value being created by this market transformation,” said PowerPlant vice president Julianne Hummelberg.
“[Miyoko’s] growth to date indicates their products are revolutionising the vegan dairy movement through the creation of delicious, highly nutritious plant-based cheeses and butters,” added PowerPlant managing partner Dan Gluck.
Gluck described the brand as “very well-positioned to capitalize on the massive market shift happening in dairy right now”, given its reputation as the “industry’s most respected brand.”
Liquid mozzarella launch
Part of the funds will fuel the launch of Miyoko’s new Liquid Vegan Pizza Mozzarella this year. The plant-based alternative is designed to pour out like a sauce and bakes into a stretchy cheese on pizzas.
The cultured liquid vegan cheese uses a base of cashew-based milk, and contains only 100% plant-based ingredients like organic sunflower oil, tapioca starch, mushroom extract, and konjac. Developed by founder and CEO Miyoko Schinner, it contains no solids and ingredients that hinder the meltability of cheese, like anti-caking agents, to give the product the stretchy qualities that consumers love about mozzarella.
Miyoko’s says it plans to bring the new product, as well as its existing portfolio, into new distribution channels in conventional grocery, club and foodservice. Currently, the brand is retailed at 30,000 stores within the U.S., including the biggest chains such as Walmart, Target and Kroger. Internationally, the brand is available in Canada, South Africa, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Reformulating Miyoko’s fan-favourites
The fresh capital will additionally be used to further innovate Miyoko’s cheese and butter line, including a plan to reformulate its existing cult-favourites like the Vegan Medium Cheddar and Pepper Jack.
“Miyoko’s will launch a reformulation of its plant milk Medium Cheddar and Pepper Jack cheeses delivering great taste and meltability through the fermentation of organic, whole food ingredients and no added flavors,” said the company.
“The company’s rapid growth in just a few short years would not be possible without our unique approach to product innovation,” shared Schinner. “We are never satisfied and are always looking for ways to improve the taste, nutrition and performance of the products we craft. As the category creator and true lover of cheese, we work tirelessly to innovate for the future of the category and the planet.”
The revamp will help Miyoko’s stay as a category leader, especially as the market becomes increasingly competitive, with large food corporations including Bel, Nestlé and Danone all vying for a share of the vegan dairy market.
All images courtesy of Miyoko’s Creamery.