Kuli Kuli Receives Strategic Investment to Make Moringa a Household Ingredient
Kuli Kuli, a mission-driven company pioneering the superfood moringa, announced today that it closed its $5M Series B financing. Griffith Foods, the global product development company, led the round with eighteen94 capital, the Kellogg Company’s venture capital fund. Other institutional investors included InvestEco, S2G Ventures, Authentic Ventures, VilCap Investments and Rocana Venture Partners. Kuli Kuli is also proud to receive investment from women-focused groups including Portfolia, Astia Angels, Next Wave Impact and individuals from Golden Seeds.
The investment will help Kuli Kuli launch their new moringa ingredient business while continuing to scale their moringa powder, bars, and shots business. Similar in taste to matcha, moringa is a versatile ingredient that adds a complete protein, an array of vitamins and health benefits in commercial applications from savory to sweet, producing delicious, nutritious and highly functional foods. Griffith Foods plans to include moringa in its range of ingredient offerings for the company’s foodservice customers, processors, retailers and distributors across 30 countries. Similar to the rise of matcha and turmeric, Kuli Kuli believes that moringa will soon be found in many products from beverages to desserts.
Over the past five years, Kuli Kuli has pioneered moringa in the US, building a sustainable supply chain of small moringa farmers while selling tasty moringa products in 7,000 stores. Now the company is excited to begin selling moringa as an ingredient to other food companies. Kuli Kuli and Griffith Foods will be showcasing moringa food and beverage products at Kuli Kuli’s Natural Products Expo West Booth located at 5173, Hall E (the basement) March 7-9th in Anaheim, CA.
“After eighteen94 capital led Kuli Kuli’s Series A financing in 2017, Kuli Kuli’s retail business tripled. We’re thrilled to continue to partner with Kellogg to grow our retail business while partnering with Griffith Foods to expand into the foodservice and ingredient space,” said Lisa Curtis, Kuli Kuli’s Founder & CEO.
“Griffith Foods’ purpose, that ‘we blend care and creativity to nourish the world,’ calls us to find innovative solutions to changing needs. We also know that Griffith Foods cannot do this alone,” said Brian Griffith, executive chairman of Griffith Foods. “Our strategic partnership with Kuli Kuli will help both companies elevate moringa as an exciting new ingredient, and we look forward to bringing this sustainable and healthy offering to the food sector.”
“Kuli Kuli was eighteen94’s first investment and has served as a model for how large food companies can partner with startups to the benefit of both. We’re thrilled to grow and strengthen our partnership with Kuli Kuli,” said Simon Burton, Managing Director of eighteen94 Capital.
Moringa is now the fastest growing green supplement in the category, outselling matcha and catching up to spirulina and wheatgrass. Nielsen data shows that moringa has achieved a 3% penetration in US households with Kuli Kuli dominating more than half of the US retail moringa market. Kuli Kuli expects moringa to soon catch up to the popularity of turmeric, which is now an $11 billion dollar market in the US. According to the NEXT Trend database moringa grew at 460% between 2014-2017, giving credence to Kuli Kuli’s claim.
Like turmeric, moringa is a staple of Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient holistic healing system. Consumer awareness of moringa’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties has grown exponentially since Kuli Kuli launched onto the market five years ago. A Rutgers University study has found that moringa may contain more potent anti-inflammatory properties than turmeric.