Pea-protein fueled Ripple Foods raises $60m in series E, plans move into overseas markets

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Founded by serial entrepreneurs Neil Renninger and Adam Lowry​​​, Emeryville, CA-based Ripple Foods ​utilizes novel technology that strips out unwanted components (color/flavor) from commercially available plant protein isolates to yield ‘Ripptein,’ a neutral-tasting protein that can be incorporated into foods and beverages in high quantities.

By overcoming the sensory barriers, Ripple has been able to dial up the protein (8g per 8oz serving, original flavor) and dial down the sugar (6g per 8oz serving, original flavor) to create an allergen-friendly (soy-, dairy-, nut-free) beverage with a sixth of the saturated fat and half the sugar of 2% dairy milk, and eight times the protein of almond milk, making the brand particularly attractive to households with children, said Flanagan.

The brand’s new kids’ line builds on this with the addition of prebiotic fiber, choline, and the long chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, said Flanagan, who said consumers buying Ripple believed it had “either the same or better nutrition than dairy milk,” ​while parents were looking for more protein, less sugar, and added key nutrients such as calcium, B vitamins and DHA.

Ripple’s growth is outpacing the category by 3x

While several brands have launched pea milks in recent years, most have not been successful “because they haven’t been able to deliver a clean taste and great texture,” ​claimed Flanagan, who said Ripple still dominates the category, and is outpacing the overall plant-based milk market by some measure.

“Ripple’s growth is outpacing the category by 3x,” ​claimed Flanagan, who said Ripple had seen sales grow 20% year on year in measured retail channels in the year to date vs 6% growth for the overall plant-based milk category.

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