Cold-pressed juice brand Plenish has raised £1.5m in its second funding round - valuing it at £10m - to capitalise on booming demand for its dairy-free milk range, The Grocer can reveal.
Venture capital trust Pembroke, which invested £250,000 in 2014, contributed to the investment, but most came from an unnamed external, international private equity house.
Plenish founder Kara Rosen said the money would be used to continue the rapid expansion of the brand, support its national retail listings and for upcoming NPD.
Launched in 2012 as a cold-pressed juice brand, the business expanded into almond milk in January 2016, with the range growing to include coconut, cashew and hazelnut variants.
Plenish benefited from a revamp in Sainsbury’s in June - winning new listings - as the supermarket doubled the number of dairy alternative SKUs it stocks and launched a fixture dedicated to the category.
The dairy-free, cold-pressed juices and probiotic water range is now stocked in over 3,000 stores nationwide, including Sainsbury’s Waitrose, Booths, Ocado, Boots, Planet Organic and Whole Foods Market, alongside food-to-go chains and independent coffee shops.
“The Plenish brand is going from strength-to-strength and is absolutely exploding in dairy free,” Rosen said. “With one main market leader holding over 80% of share, we see a huge opportunity for Plenish’s growth,” said Rosen. Our points of differentiation are very strong: 3x more nuts, organic and no oils, gums, sweeteners or other nasty stabilisers and thickeners. We want to challenge the status quo in the category by raising the bar for the consumer.”
The market for dairy-free milk is booming, with value sales up 20.4% to £90m on volumes up 24.8% [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 21 May 2017]. The total dairy-free category is now £191m, up 11% (£17m) year on year [Nielsen 52 w/e 20 June 2017].
Plenish is the latest brand to benefit from the explosion of interest in ‘clean-living’ products, with investors backing several business in the space this year already, including £2.3m injected into rival juice business Coldpress by a private consumer fund, as revealed by The Grocer in June.