Danone invests US$30m in premium coconut water category

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02 Feb 2018 --- Danone Manifesto Ventures has taken a stake in Harmless Harvest, a leader in US refrigerated premium coconut water and a Fair for Life certified organic producer. Danone’s venture arm has led a US$30 million investment round, alongside other existing and new shareholders. This investment builds on Danone Manifesto Ventures’ commitment to supporting companies at the forefront of tomorrow’s food trends.

HarClick to Enlargemless Harvest markets fresh organic coconut water, produced through an exclusive micro-filtration process, resulting in a unique product experience. It has obtained the Fair for Life – social and Fair Trade – a certification which recognizes the company’s sustainable business practices promoting social, agricultural and environmental progress. Founded in 2010, Harmless Harvest has become a leader in the fast-growing premium coconut water category in the US, by responding to the growing demand for natural and healthy beverages.
 
Harmless Harvest secured a total of US$30 million in growth capital. While including Mousse Partners as well as other shareholders like AccelFoods, the investment round was led by Danone’s venture arm, allowing Danone to build on its existing stake in Harmless Harvest. 
 
“Harmless Harvest is a unique US brand with a strong consumer base and a great growth potential in the attractive plant-based category. Harmless Harvest and Danone have highly aligned values combining business growth ambitions with a commitment to healthier nutrition and sustainable business practices. We look forward to leveraging our expertise and resources to help Harmless Harvest reach its full potential while maintaining the unique DNA that has enabled its success,” says Laurent Marcel, Managing Director of Danone Manifesto Ventures.
 
A spokesperson for Danone Manifesto Ventures told FoodIngredientsFirst: “Harmless Harvest is a unique brand with a strong consumer base and great growth potential in the attractive plant-based category. Beyond its great brand, Harmless Harvest is a leader in US refrigerated premium coconut water, offering a delicious product that is developed using a pioneering, proprietary process that is environmentally sustainable.”
 
Harmless Harvest and Danone have highly aligned values combining business growth ambitions with a commitment to healthier nutrition and sustainable business practices.”
 
“The global coconut water product category is expected to grow at a compound rate of more than 25 percent until 2020,” says the spokesperson, “Driven by consumers becoming more and more aware of the benefits of fresh organic propositions as well as expanded distribution.”
 
“Over the years, Harmless Harvest has built its own manufacturing and sourcing footprint, applying demanding quality and sustainability standards, which have been recognized as achieving Fair for Life certification.”
 
“Harmless Harvest products use only organic and sustainably harvested coconuts and cutting-edge scientific methods. Harmless Harvest intends to use the investment to support its growth initiatives by increasing and optimizing sustainable production capacity in Thailand. Harmless Harvest will continue to operate its unique assets independently, and Danone Manifesto Ventures will - if needed - offer expertise to support the teams.”
 
By Elizabeth Green

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