Fresh Del Monte Produce has taken a $4 million equity stake in Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal kit provider, based in Needham, Mass. Purple Carrot said it will use the investment to gain access to the developing retail channel for meal kits and other opportunities for category expansion.
Founded in 2014, Purple Carrot delivers fresh, pre-portioned ingredients nationwide with instructions for consumers to cook plant-based meals at home.
“Securing this strategic investment from Fresh Del Monte is a huge validation of our business model, and an important step forward for our company,” said Andy Levitt, founder and chief executive officer of Purple Carrot. “Helping people eat more plant-based foods represents our differentiated, purpose-driven commitment to making the planet and the people who live on it healthier. This investment by Fresh Del Monte will strengthen our ability to create meaningful and lasting change, improve our core product, and open up a world of possibilities for brand expansion. I couldn’t be happier.”
The growth in plant-based eating is expected to double from 2015 to an estimated $25 billion in 2020, according to Purple Carrot. Moreover, the meal kit market is projected to grow from $1.6 billion in 2016 to $35 billion in 2025.
“This investment builds on our commitment to seize growth opportunities that will further diversify our business, leverage our distribution network and infrastructure, and get healthful, fresh fruit and vegetable offerings in as many channels as possible,” said Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman and chief executive officer of Fresh Del Monte. “Purple Carrot has tremendous growth momentum in the fast-growing plant-based food segment with a well-known brand and an authentic connection with its customers. We believe there will be significant opportunities for our teams to create increased value through product mix and channel expansion.”