LAWRENCE, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hilary’s, a trailblazer in delicious plant-based foods that are free from common allergens, has received a significant growth capital investment led by VG Growth Partners, a new fund created with the mission to advance the next generation of consumer brands. Founded by industry veterans Michael Caridi, Sanjeev Vinayak and Hitesh Hajarnavis, VG Growth Partners will serve dual roles as investment partners and strategic advisors to the brand. Hilary’s is currently the #1 selling veggie burger brand as measured by SPINS,1 and is poised for tremendous growth in the free-from category, which is projected to reach $20 billion by 2020.2
“We’re experiencing mounting demand for our foods within the allergen-free community in addition to adding mainstream shoppers who want clean, healthy options that are easy to prepare,” said Lydia Butler, president and chief financial officer of Hilary’s. “The astounding consumer response that has led to our current leadership in the market is a testament to the fact that people want delicious and nourishing cuisine, and we’re grateful that our new investors, VG Growth Partners, share our vision for healing the American diet.”
The new round of funding will enable Hilary’s to expand its internal sales and marketing teams, amplify expansion of its retail footprint, and accelerate innovation and new product development. Hilary’s is the third investment for VG Growth Partners in the allergen-friendly space. With more than 50 years combined experience leading natural food brands, the founders of VG Growth Partners not only see the market opportunity in the food allergy space, but are personally passionate about helping to increase the accessibility of free-from foods across the country through brands families can trust.
“Free-from is a booming category with tremendous potential for growth, and I know so many families – including my own – who are directly affected by food allergies,” said Hitesh Hajarnavis, a founding partner of VG Growth Partners. “Experiencing firsthand the daily challenges and emotional worry that I know other families affected by food allergies are dealing with, is part of what fuels our passion for this space. We’re determined to make a difference, and it’s real deal brands like Hilary’s that are charting a new future by creating great tasting foods that are not only safe for those with allergies but also enjoyed by all that will make it possible for us. It’s thrilling to be part of this food revolution!”
A true disruptor in allergy-friendly eating, Hilary’s is best known for its plant-based Veggie Burgers; however, its recent line extensions and launches – including Millet Medleys and Veggie Sausages – have quickly climbed to the top of their respective categories as well. Hilary’s investment from VG Growth Partners also follows new national distribution gains for the brand, including placement at Kroger for its shelf-stable dressings and a partnership with frozen food e-commerce platform, Healthy Goodness.
All Hilary’s foods are free from common allergens, including wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, and corn, and are vegan, Certified Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Organic. Hilary’s products are available at conventional and natural grocery stores nationwide, as well as online. For more information and recipe inspiration, please visit www.hilaryseatwell.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
On a mission to help heal the American diet, Hilary’s is the creator of plant-based, culinary inspired foods that are made from real ingredients and free from common allergens. Hilary’s is an innovator and disruptor in the natural food industry, creating delicious, convenient, family friendly foods for all people who are seeking tasty and nourishing cuisine. Hilary’s robust portfolio includes frozen veggie burgers, frozen veggie bites, frozen veggie sausages, frozen millet medleys and shelf-stable salad dressings. All products are plant-based, free from common allergens including wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts and corn, and Certified Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified, Certified Organic by the USDA. Hilary’s is currently the #1 selling veggie burger brand as measured by SPINS,3 the leading provider of retail consumer insights, analytics and consulting for the natural, organic and specialty products industry.
Hilary’s products are available in natural and conventional grocery stores nationwide and in Canada, as well as online. For more information or to find a store near you, please visit www.hilaryseatwell.com.
About VG Growth Partners
VG Growth Partners (“VGGP”) is an advisory and investment firm led by highly experienced operators and investors focused on building category leading consumer companies. VGGP brings significant industry expertise, proven track record as brand-builders, and hands-on operational experience of its co-founders to help promising brands grow sustainably. VGGP is excited to partner with young branded consumer companies looking to leverage VGGP’s operational know-how, strategic resources and financial capital. VGGP is flexible in structure and stage of investments ranging from $500k to $3+ million.
1 Hilary’s is the #1 selling plant-based burger in SPINS
Natural 52 weeks ending 2017-August-13
2 Packaged Facts; Datamonitor.
3 Hilary’s is the #1 selling plant-based burger in SPINS Natural 52 weeks ending 2017-August-13