General Mills invests in plant-based protein bar maker

by Monica Watrous

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D's Naturals No Cow Bars
D’s Naturals No Cow Bars are are made with organic brown rice, pea protein, prebiotic fiber, monk fruit and stevia.

DENVER — D’s Naturals, a maker of protein bars and spreads, has received an investment from 301 INC, the business development and venturing unit of General Mills, and 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners, a private equity investor. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2015 by then 18-year-old Daniel Katz, D’s Naturals brands include No Cow bars and Fluffbutter spreads. All products are free of soy, gluten, dairy and bioengineered ingredients and contain 1 gram of sugar or less per serving.

D's Naturals Fluff Butter
D’s Naturals Flufbutter spreads are free of soy, gluten, dairy and bioengineered ingredients and contain 1 gram of sugar or less per serving.

Mr. Katz, who has a dairy sensitivity, developed the products after failing to find a low-sugar plant-based protein bar on the market. The company has grown to nearly $10 million in revenue with distribution in more than 10,000 retail locations.

Daniel Katz, D's Naturals
Daniel Katz, founder of D’s Naturals

“My mission is to create low sugar, plant-based products that fuel an active lifestyle and offer more options to people living with dietary restrictions or choosing to eat more plant-based foods,” Mr. Katz said. “I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in the last two years, but I’m even more excited for what’s to come. I look forward to working with 2x Partners and the 301 INC team at General Mills as we create a No Cow revolution.”

Other investments by 301 INC have included Rhythm Superfoods, which makes kale chips and beet chips; Kite Hill, a producer of nut milk cheeses and yogurts; and Beyond Meat, a maker of plant-based chicken and beef substitutes.

John Haugen, 301 Inc., General Mills
John Haugen, vice-president and general manager of 301 INC.

“We are impressed with how much D has been able to accomplish for his emerging brand over the past two years,” said John Haugen, vice-president and general manager of 301 INC. “No Cow bars offer consumers a convenient way to access nutrient-rich, plant-based proteins, which is gaining more and more consumer interest. We’re eager to help him take his business to the next level.”

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