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Following their successful seed round led by from U.S.- Asian early-stage capital fund Lever VC, alt dairy company Marvelous Foods has debuted its product at commercial scale, unveiling mainland China’s first plant-based coconut yogurt store on the country’s leading e-commerce platform, Tmall.
Beijing-based Marvelous Foods recently launched its flagship store on Tmall with its signature offering: Yeyo Coconut Yogurt with zero-added sugar, no sweeteners, or artificial flavours.
Founder Christiana Zhu developed Yeyo out of her own personal need for dairy-free and sugar-free yogurts. Zhu founded the company as a local artisanal brand in Beijing but her sister Athena eventually quit her corporate job to join Zhu in scaling the company. With the support of Lever VC, who back in August of last year made the first close of its Fund I to support early-stage plant-based protein food techs, Marvelous Foods has been able to commercially scaling its production and sales avenues, achieveing a revenue run rate of RMB ¥1.5 million (approx. US$0.2M) in just two weeks of its launch.
The initial launch of the plant-based range includes a ‘pure’ sugar-free flavour, along with two yoghurt-granola cups with seasonal fruit and nut granola toppings and are priced at RMB ¥15 (approx. US.$2) per 100gms. Its latest product was developed after extensive formulation R&D by joining forces with leading ingredients company DSM.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, Zhu, said: “We created this product to ride the trend of snacking premiumization that’s taking off in tier 1 cities in the health-conscious age of COVID-19. With very high new product development rates compared to other categories, snacking offers a great entry point for innovative new plant-based 2.0 products.”
We created this product to ride the trend of snacking premiumization that’s taking off in tier 1 cities in the health-conscious age of COVID-19. With very high new product development rates compared to other categories, snacking offers a great entry point for innovative new plant-based 2.0 productsChristiana Zhu, founder, Yeyo
Zhu added that while developing the product, the company took into account the learnings they made during their artisanal stage. “We are proud to have created something which has tested on par or above for taste versus leading dairy yogurts during focus group sessions with our key target market.”
Going forward, the company is now seeking pre-A investment to further scale and expand its products.
“Plant-based dairy beverage sales grew 800% on Tmall in 2020, so we believe we are in for an exciting 2021. We welcome any investors that would like to tap into this green and growing opportunity in the world’s hungriest market to get in touch,” Zhu concluded.
Yeyo aims to tap into China’s US$17 billion dollar yogurt market as well as the US$433 billion dollar snacking market.
Plant-based yogurt is slowly and steadily becoming a consumer favourite as brands are constantly innovating and launching new products in the market. In China, another home-grown plant-based yogurt brand Nongfu Spring is gaining momentum.
Elsewhere, Greek yogurt brand Epigamia unveiled its new 100% plant-based coconut yogurts in India, and New York-based Hälsa, a female-founded yogurt company recently unveiled its online store making its plant-based yogurts, that are created out of whole grain oats grown in Scandinavia and boasts of a zero water footprint, available to U.S. audiences.
Lead image courtesy of Marvelous Foods.