Dean Foods enters plant-based beverages category with investment

Company strikes investment and distribution agreement with Good Karma.

Dean Foods Co. announced May 5 a minority investment and a distribution deal with Good Karma Foods, the leading producer of flaxseed-based milk and yogurt alternatives.

The partnership will allow Good Karma to more quickly expand distribution across the U.S. as well as increase investments in brand building and product innovation. Dean Foods will take a position in the brand and joins lead investor 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners in support of Good Karma.

"We love Good Karma as a fit for Dean Foods as we focus on diversification both within and beyond dairy," Dean Foods chief executive officer Ralph Scozzafava said. "This opportunity with Good Karma is a way for us to build a platform for a larger plant-based portfolio. The management team has deep category expertise, the brand is a disruptor in the plant-based, non-dairy space, and we believe we can support its growth."

Scozzafava said one of the pillars of Dean Foods’ strategic plan is to build and buy strong brands. “Good Karma embodies the exact type of opportunity we're interested in as we look to add leading and high-potential brands in adjacent growing categories such as plant-based beverages."

Good Karma Foods CEO Doug Radi said, “Good Karma isn't just our name; it's the inspiration for everything we do. This partnership validates that Good Karma has become one of the leading and fastest-growing brands to watch in the plant-based category. We are excited about how this partnership will give us the opportunity to advance our mission of inspiring goodness by making our flax-based, non-dairy beverages and yogurts more accessible across the U.S."

Good Karma will continue to operate as a Boulder, Colo.-based independent company led by its existing leadership team. As part of the investment agreement, Dean Foods will lend support to Good Karma's growth plans in the conventional retail channel through its experienced sales team. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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