NEW YORK — Danone Manifesto Ventures (DMV) today announced that it has acquired a majority stake in Harmless Harvest, a leader in organic coconut-based products including coconut water and dairy-free coconut yogurt alternatives, as DMV furthers its investment position and partnership efforts. DMV is the corporate venture arm of Danone, the global leader of fresh dairy and plant-based foods and beverages.
In 2017, Danone Manifesto Ventures led a $30 million capital growth round in the company, alongside Mousse Partners and other investors. With this additional investment, DMV acquires majority ownership and will continue to provide financial, strategic, and operational support in all appropriate business areas while Harmless Harvest continues to operate independently.
This transaction will provide Harmless Harvest with additional resources and operational capabilities to help further propel its growth and sustainability initiatives, from Thai coconut farms to U.S. shelves.
Harmless Harvest is the first U.S. investment to become majority-owned by DMV. It will operate under the umbrella of DMV, with a level of autonomy that preserves its entrepreneurial culture. DMV’s majority stake in Harmless Harvest supports Danone’s global efforts to accelerate the growth of its plant-based business and offer more plant-based options to consumers throughout their day. It contributes to Danone’s goal to increase its plant-based sales worldwide to €5 billion by 2025.
Harmless Harvest was founded in 2009 by Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud and is the leader in the fast-growing premium coconut water category in the U.S. as a result of its focus on crafting superior, organic products. Under the leadership of Ben Mand, who joined the company in 2018 as CEO, Harmless Harvest’s growth has continuously accelerated, driven by distribution expansion and innovation, notably with the launch of dairy-free yogurt alternatives in 2019 and 2020. The company expects to generate over $100 million in sales in 2021, doubling its revenue from 2017. Harmless Harvest is Fair for Life Certified and committed to sustainable agriculture through its Regenerative Coconuts Agriculture Project (ReCAP), launched in 2019 in partnership with Danone.
“It has been a privilege to be part of the Harmless Harvest success story over the past few years, as the company has continued to grow, innovate, and pioneer more responsible business practices,” said Laurent Marcel, CEO of Danone Manifesto Ventures. “We are thrilled to further the partnership with a group of people who aim to be harmless to the planet and society and share our vision of a healthy and sustainable food system. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ben and his talented leadership team, and supporting their inspiring ambitions.”
Danone Manifesto Ventures is the corporate venture arm of Danone, launched in 2016 with a mission to support the growth of innovative food and foodtech companies and partner with entrepreneurs that share its vision of a healthy and sustainable future. Through this venture team, Danone makes financial investments and provides strategic and operational support to its portfolio companies while preserving the autonomy required to grow their entrepreneurial projects. Danone Manifesto Ventures has invested in various companies including Harmless Harvest, Forager Project, Farmer's Fridge and Nature's Fynd in the U.S., Michel et Augustin, Yooji and Phenix in France, Moju in the U.K., and Epigamia in India. In 2018, it became the first corporate venture to be certified B Corp independently.