NEW YORK — Danone Manifesto Ventures, the venture arm of Paris-based Danone S.A., has acquired a minority stake in Forager Project, a San Francisco plant-based food and beverage start-up.
Stephen Williamson, founder and chief executive officer of Forager Project, launched the company in 2013 with the goal of making organic plant-based foods more accessible. Since then, the company has developed a portfolio of non-dairy yogurt, milk, sour cream and creamer as well as protein and probiotic shakes. The company also produces tortilla-style chips formulated with ancient grains, kale and spinach.
Mr. Williamson said he has been in talks with the Danone Manifesto Ventures team for three years.
“It’s the right time, and they are the right partner — good people with leverageable, relevant experience and capital,” he said.
The deal marks Danone’s 15th investment since 2016. Other U.S. companies that have received financial and operational support through the venture group include Yumble, a children’s meal delivery company; Harmless Harvest, a coconut water brand; and Farmer’s Fridge, an operator of vending machines that sell salads and healthy snacks.
“Forager Project and Danone have highly aligned values focused on improving human and planet health through food, and a shared commitment to sustainable, enduring business growth,” said Laurent Marcel, c.e.o. of Danone Manifesto Ventures.