The investment will be used to grow Sproud’s team, accelerate the brand’s distribution and brand building activities in the company’s core markets – including the UK, US and Canada – and for further development of its plant-based and 100% vegan product offering.
Sproud launched in Sweden in 2018, and has expanded to 15 markets in just two years. It is available across the UK via supermarkets and online retailers such as Waitrose, Ocado, and Amazon, in addition to various independent shops, cafés, and restaurants.
The innovation of Sproud lies in the company’s unique ability to create products with a taste, texture, and nutritional profile that closely resembles dairy milk. This is made possible through a unique, proprietary blend of protein from yellow split peas, GMO-free oils and syrups, fortified with essential vitamins. All of its products contain low essential amino acids and are free from lactose, gluten, and soy. When compared to oat milk, the Sproud variants contain double the amount of protein (5x the amount in almond milk) and far less sugars.
Combining sustainability with taste, and nutrition, Sproud is able to cater to consumers ranging from full-time vegans (which make for approximately 10% of its customer base), to a larger number of flexitarians, and those seeking to reduce their carbon footprint.
Nicklas Jungberg, co-founder and Chairman of the Board at Sproud, comments: “We are really pleased to have the backing of VGC on our mission to create the best tasting, and most sustainable plant-based offering on the market. We have reached a stage where most people are now aware of the positive impacts that swapping dairy for vegan substitutes would have on our planet and health.
“What’s left is for consumers to truly act on this, but we don’t think forcing people to change their food preferences is the way forward. By matching the tastes that they are used to, and the nutritional content typically provided through dairy products, we know that we can make a huge impact, and with the support of Parminder and his incredible team, we feel confident that positive change can now be achieved faster, and on a much greater scale.”
Founded in 2011 by its Managing Partner, Parminder Basran, London-based VGC Partners is a growth capital investor specialising in innovative early-stage consumer, media and tech companies. The firm has seen enormous potential for investing in the next generation food and beverages space in recent years, with portfolio companies including JUST a plant-based alternative to eggs, and Ugly Drinks, a producer of zero-sugar sparkling water and energy drinks.
Parminder Basran, Founder and Managing Partner at VGC Partners, said: “Through our experience of backing innovative food and drink brands, we have a deep understanding of the plant-based market, including from the perspective of evolving consumer demands and the cutting-edge product innovation that is catering to this. We believe Sproud has the potential to become a global leader in the huge and growing dairy alternative market, owing not only to its superior taste and nutrition profile, but also due to its positive environmental and sustainability credentials.”