Dean Foods, one of America’s largest suppliers of cow’s milk, is debating on becoming a majority shareholder in plant-based milk brand, Good Karma Foods.
The dairy supplier is already a minority shareholder in the vegan business, which uses flaxseed to make milk, however, CEO of Dean Foods, Ralph Scozzafava, believes this could be set to change. “It’s a really really cool brand, and it’s growing,” he informed Bloomberg Quint. “It grew pretty dramatically last year. Over the next few months, we’ll make that decision [about increasing the stake].”
Earlier this year, Dean Foods cut dozens of contracts with suppliers as the demand for dairy milk dropped. The cuts were made following a ninety-one percent fall in profits for the dairy giant, and Scozzafava’s reveal last year that the dairy industry is “rapidly changing.” The CEO told Food Business News, “In short, we’re making important choices in 2018 and taking aggressive but necessary steps to drive our strategic plan, reset our company to make Dean Foods more competitive and enable us to deliver solid and consistent earnings and cash flow over the long term.”
In contrast to Dean Foods, Good Karma Foods focuses on making its milk and yogurt products from flaxseeds, without the need for cows, or any animal-derived ingredients. The company also aims to inspire and spread positivity with its products, “the rippling effect of relatable and meaningful acts of goodness starts with small drops of positive energy that we aim to inspire – not only as a brand but also as people with good hearts,” the Good Karma Foods’ website notes. “It is time to sew the seeds of positivity in a world that has come to expect the opposite in everyday interactions.”
But it’s not just about spreading positive energy, it’s also about making a product that sells – and, currently, plant-based milk does just that. At the beginning of the year, a market report predicted that the vegan milk industry is set to exceed $34 billion by 2024. And brands like Oatly, an oat milk popular with baristas, have had to up production in order to keep up with the demand from consumers.
Doug Radi, the chief executive officer of Good Karma Foods, is excited by the interest from Dean Foods in the company. “We believe Dean Foods continued interest and partnership in Good Karma Foods validates we are one of the leading and fastest-growing brands to watch in the plant-based category,” Radi said in a statement.
Image Credit: Good Karma Foods