Kellogg Spearheads Multi-Million Dollar Investment in Californian Superfood Startup

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12 Jan 2017 --- Kellogg is banking on a startup which sells superfood bars and herbal teas being a success of tomorrow. Kellogg has spearheaded a $4.25m funding in Kuli Kuli, the California-based startup whose superfood bars are all moringa-based products. Moringa is a plant protein which includes all nine essential amino acids. It was discovered by Kuli Kuli founder Lisa Curtis who discovered it while volunteering with the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa. Kuli Kuli products are now sold in more than 3,000 stores and national retailers in the US.

The investment marks Kellogg’s debut investment in eighteen94 capital, the fund launched last year mainly to invest in companies focused on innovation and next-generation products.

“We are excited to partner with eighteen94 capital and Kellogg, and we're thrilled that they see the potential in our company and in moringa as a next-generation superfood,” said Curtis, Kuli Kuli Founder and CEO. 

“We want to create a world where everyone has access to nutritious sources of food. Through this relationship, Kuli Kuli will benefit from Kellogg's resources and global presence, both of which will help us achieve our goals.”

“By investing in Kuli Kuli and helping them grow, we're backing a new superfood category, one in which we see the potential for ongoing high-growth,” said Simon Burton, managing director of eighteen94 capital and now a member of the Kuli Kuli board of directors. “We love the company's strong management team, great products, and the authenticity of their social mission.”

Kuli Kuli sources moringa from a number of cooperatives across West Africa, as well as South America and the Caribbean. Kuli Kuli has to date planted 200,000 moringa trees and supported 800 women farmers to earn a sustainable living. 

Speaking about eighteen94, Gary Pilnick, vice chairman of Kellogg, said: “As consumer preferences move toward more diverse tastes and trends, the pace of innovation in the packaged food industry continues to intensify.”

“By investing directly in the most promising entrepreneurs and ventures, we can increase greatly our access to game-changing ideas and trends that could become significant sources of growth for us.”

“At the same time, we will be providing these companies with essential growth capital and access to Kellogg resources and expertise, which will help drive their ideas and businesses. It's truly a win-win.”

This week, Kellogg also announced plans to launch more than 50 new products with innovations from its iconic cereals, ground-breaking new snacks and gourmet frozen food options. Each new item is created to specifically meet the diverse needs of today's grocery shopper.
 
The new products include Special K Nourish granola, Kellogg's Cinnamon Frosted Flakes™ and Pop-Tarts coffee-inspired toaster pastries. Snack highlights include Cheez-it Duoz Bacon & Cheddar crackers and five bold flavors of Pringles LOUD crisps.

"We know that people are looking for a variety of things when they choose food for themselves and for their families. They want food that is fun and exciting, wholesome and nutritious, convenient and, of course, delicious," said Paul Norman, president of Kellogg North America. "We are passionate about delivering products that meet a wide range of needs."

Many of the new foods are made with flavor and colors from natural sources, including new Kellogg's Disney Princess cereal and snacks including Special K Nourish Bites and Nutri-Grain Bakery Delights crumb cakes. Also, the entire lineup of Eggo frozen breakfast products will now be made with flavors and colors from natural sources.

The new products will be widely available nationwide in the US this month. Highlights of the additions to the Kellogg portfolio include the following:

Morning Foods
• Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch Apple Strawberry cereal is bringing delicious excitement to the cereal bowl by putting a sweet spin on heart-healthy1 bran. 
• Kellogg's Special K Nourish is putting a new spin on granola as it debuts two new, light and crispy flavors with an abundance of wholesome ingredients. Available in Dark Chocolate Coconut and Very Berry with strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. 
• Kellogg's Cinnamon Frosted Flakes cereal debuts in response to requests from Frosted Flakes fans. To ensure the new cereal meets expectations, more than 100 recipes were considered before Kellogg's settled on the final sweet combination. 
• Pop-Tarts and Dunkin' Donuts have teamed up to introduce the first indulgent coffee-flavored toaster pastries – New Frosted Chocolate Mocha and Frosted Vanilla Latte. 
• Kellogg's Despicable Me cereal features a delicious brown sugar vanilla flavor with large pieces of marshmallows that represent the Minions and their love of bananas. 
• Kellogg's Disney Princess cereal comes in a collectable series of four sparkling packages, each featuring a different Disney princess. Its’ delicious strawberry flavor comes in large pieces that make it ideal for on-the-go munching. 
• Kellogg's Disney Moana cereal features swirl-shaped cereal pieces with a delicious mixed berry flavor and island-inspired marshmallow shapes. 
• Keebler Cookie cereal includes real miniature chocolate chip cookies mixed with cookie dough flavored pieces.

Snacks
• Pringles LOUD is an all-new line that delivers adventurous, bold flavor with an epic crunch – created from combinations of flavorful, complex seasonings on top of corn or multi-grain & veggie crisps. Varieties include: Super Cheesy Italian, Spicy Queso, Salsa Fiesta, Mighty Margherita, and Fiery Chili Lime. 
• Town House Crackers and Hummus provides a delicious, portable, single-serving snack option. It combines Pita or Flatbread crackers and a serving of all-natural humus. No refrigeration needed. 
• Special K Nourish Bites are poppable snack bites with premium ingredients including dark chocolate, pistachios, almonds and blueberries. They are free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. 
• Special K Protein Bites provide 9 grams of protein per serving and come in two varieties: Peanut Butter Chocolate and Caramel Nut. 
• Nutri-Grain Bakery Delights deliver a delicious cake texture, a fresh-baked taste, 8 grams of whole grain and no artificial flavors, preservatives and colors. 
• Special K Nourish bars debut two new delicious and satisfying flavors: Caramel Almond Sea Salt and Chocolate Coconut Cashew. 
• Cheez-It Duoz crackers bring new variety and intensity to the snack aisle by adding two bold new flavor combinations – cheddar & bacon and jalapeño & cheddar jack. 
• Keebler  Club Bites sandwich crackers provide the buttery taste of Club crackers and real cheese or peanut butter. They are free from high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.

Frozen
• There's delicious news from Eggo. The entire line – including waffles and breakfast sandwiches – is now made with flavors and colors from natural sources. 
• MorningStar Farms Veggie Bowls are true veggie cuisine with flavors that include Chik'n Pot Pie, Moroccan Medley, Chik'n Tikka Masala, Italian Veggie Bake, and Japanese Soba Noodles

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

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