The investment in plant-based protein continues.
Ripple Foods Inc., a two-year old beverage company that makes a milk-like drink from yellow peas, has received a $65 million investment from Goldman Sachs, among other investors, according to Bloomberg News.
Run by founders Adam Lowry and Neil Renninger, Ripple Foods sells Ripptein, pea protein that has been extracted from the vegetable by a process that the company says strips out the funky flavor often found in plant materials. The result is almost purely protein, they say.
This is the largest funding the company has received since its inception, bringing its total funding to $110 million.
In addition to Goldman Sachs, other investors include Euclidean Capital, which led the funding, Khosla Ventupeares, Fall Line Capital and S2G Ventures, a food and agriculture investment firm started by OpenTable Inc.’s founder.
Investors are turning towards manufacturers of plant-based protein as demands for it continue to grow. An increasing number of consumers are looking for great taste, simpler labels and alternative sources of protein to solve their personalized nutrition choices. And manufacturers are turning to pea protein because of its functional and nutritional attributes. We recently reported that Cargill invested in PURIS, one of North America’s largest producers of pea protein.
And it doesn’t look like the demand for plant based protein is going to dry up any time soon. According to Plant Based News, the global plant-based protein market could reach $16 billion by 2025.
Plant-based protein started taking off when it began targeting everyday vegans trying to get extra support in their diet. As we reported here, this made the protein less intimidating for everyone, and expanded the category beyond cross-fit athletes and frat-house kitchens. This reflects what’s happening in plant-based as a whole: most plant-based consumers are not vegan or vegetarian. The advances plant-based food manufacturers have made in taste and texture of their products have been immense, winning the business of all types of consumers.
In addition to milk, Ripple Foods currently offers half and half, greek yogurt alternative, and is working on a pea-based ice cream.
For related stories, see PURIS and Cargill Partnership Leaders Speak Out on Pea Protein.