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Alter Eco Changes Hands

NextWorld Evergreen, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused in the consumer and retail industry, has acquired Alter Eco Americas PBC.

Alter Eco, based in San Francisco, California, is a mission-driven food brand that offers premium organic snacks like clusters, chocolate bars and truffles in the U.S., Canada, and Australia / New Zealand. A top-four organic chocolate brand in the U.S., Alter Eco’s products are made only with USDA-certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Fair Trade Certified ingredients sourced from farmer cooperatives around the world. Introduced to the U.S. market in 2005, Alter Eco’s products include its Dark Blackout chocolate bar, Salted Caramel Truffles, and most recently Dark Chocolate Coconut Clusters. Alter Eco products can be found in more than 10,000 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, NCG, NGVC, Sprouts, Wegmans, Infra, Earth Fare, Raley’s, New Seasons, Fresh Market, Kroger, Publix and independent specialty and natural food retailers.

“We are excited to partner with the outstanding management team at Alter Eco, which has built a remarkable company based on a set of values and amazing-tasting products, while succeeding in being good stewards of the world we live in,” said David Fife, Partner of NextWorld Evergreen. “We see tremendous opportunity to accelerate the company’s growth while taking very seriously our stewardship of the Alter Eco brand.” Fife further commented, “With several new products in the making and a team of experienced professionals, the company is at an inflection point, poised to continue to grow and expand market share in the natural and conventional channels.”

Alter Eco co-Founders and co-CEOs Edouard Rollet and Mathieu Senard, as well as current President Kate Tierney, will continue to remain at the helm of the company, leading all strategic growth, mission-based ingredient sourcing and impact programs.

“This change of ownership, from impact funds to an evergreen fund, is an excellent and logical evolution for Alter Eco, a leading fair trade pioneer and top-ranked B Corporation,” said Rollet. “Thanks to NextWorld Evergreen’s long-term vision and philanthropic affiliations, we’ll be able to continue to grow our impact and preserve our mission while benefiting from NextWorld Evergreen’s experience in consumer goods to accelerate Alter Eco’s growth in the indulgent, clean, healthy and ethical food space.”

 

“We have dedicated our work with Alter Eco in sourcing, crafting, and marketing outstanding products while showing that there is a better way to do business,” said Senard. “Today marks a thrilling new era for the brand by joining NextWorld Evergreen’s portfolio, and we will continue to innovate and promote a model where people and the planet can benefit from a flourishing business – where companies regenerate rather than extract.”

 

Alter Eco’s unique approach to business combines grassroots sourcing and marketing with outstanding partnerships and a dedication to quality and transparency. The company’s previous growth financing came from impact investors, initially led by Social Venture Network founder Josh Mailman, looking to align capital and strong values. For the current acquisition, Michel Dyens & Co. acted as financial advisors to the Sellers.

 

“We have had the privilege of working with Mathieu, Edouard, Kate, the rest of the Alter Eco team and a group of like-minded impact investors in building a brand that is a model for companies striving for true sustainability. We are thankful that NextWorld Evergreen is keeping the team intact and has committed to building on its mission-first approach to business,” said Paul Richardson, Renewal Funds CEO and outgoing Alter Eco Board Chair.

California Olive Ranch Secures $35 Million in Equity Funding

California Olive Ranch has received commitments for an equity investment of $35 million led by a major US-based institutional investor and existing investors. As the largest equity investment funding ever in the domestic extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) industry, California Olive Ranch sets its sights on making U.S. olive oil a significant player on the global stage.

On the basis of the tremendous success of California Olive Ranch over the past five years, this investment enables future expansion to support the insatiable consumer demand for premium California EVOO.  This contribution is an investment in the future of U.S. olive oil.

  • This funding will allow California Olive Ranch to more than double its acreage.
  • California Olive Ranch is able to create more jobs in the harvesting, production and administrative divisions of the business as well as expand the milling infrastructure throughout California.
  • Additionally, this boost in financial support will provide family farms with the resources to plant more olive trees and as a result, grow their businesses.
  • With the help of investors, California Olive Ranch will also expand its presence by producing organic extra virgin olive oil.
  • California Olive Ranch has been researching and developing a scalable method to eliminate its carbon footprint by an initiative called, regenerative agriculture. The newly purchased plots of land will be fully sustainable, making the operation the first large scale implementation of regenerative agriculture for permanent plantings.

“With the support of our investors, this round of funding supports the planting of new acreage for California Olive Ranch, but is also an investment in the future of olive oil,” says President Gregg Kelley. “This investment will accelerate the future of the American olive oil movement, innovate our sustainable harvesting methods and revolutionize our production technology.”

To learn more about California Olive Ranch, where to buy California Olive Ranch products, and all things extra virgin olive oil, visit www.californiaoliveranch.com, or follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Peapod Launches Text to Order Service

Peapod, the country’s first and leading online grocer, is making it even easier for customers to shop on the go by launching their first ever text-to-order grocery application. With the Chat-to-Cart™ platform from StorePower, shoppers can use their phones’ text feature to type, speak and even use popular emoji icons to build and update their Peapod carts.

“At Peapod, we have always been committed to being the ultimate convenience for our customers,” said Cat De Merode, Peapod’s Vice President of Product. “The Chat-to-Cart™ platform was designed for the busy shopper that relies on their mobile device whether at home or on-the-go. Now, instead of texting a family member to pick up an extra gallon of milk, you can text Peapod and let us do the work. The texting functionality complements the Peapod mobile app and desktop website for one seamless ordering process.”

With the simplicity of texting, the list can also be shared across multiple family members for an all-inclusive weekly shop and even synched up with voice activated assistants for voice-to-text convenience. The Chat-to-Cart™ launch follows a string of recent innovations launched by Peapod that are geared towards the connected shopper including Peapod’s award-winning mobile app and Peapod’s voice activated Alexa skill.

Peapod worked with StorePower, a leading creator of online shopping tools, as a first mover in the space to implement its patented Chat-to-Cart™ platform. “This is an exciting example of a proven retailer leveraging the newest technology to help their customers shop faster and smarter,” said Richard Demb, co-Founder of StorePower. “There is a heritage of innovation at Peapod and we’re proud to work with them to continue that legacy. The Peapod team has proven their commitment to early adopters of customer-led innovations.”

There’s no cost to use this service and Peapod customers can begin using Chat-to-Cart™ by clicking this link or texting 1.833.TXT.PPOD. Customers will receive a welcome text from Peapod and can then utilize text ordering at any time by following the below instructions:

  • Simply enter products (name or related emoji) via texting application
  • Type “Options” to share the list and add contributors (other family members, roommates, etc.)
  • Click on the link at any time to edit and check out
  • Once the number is saved in contacts, list updates can be made via Siri and Google Assistant
  • Type or say “Text Peapod” in the texting app at any time
  • Type or say “Reorder” to edit the last order

For more information and to shop Peapod, visit www.Peapod.com, Peapod’s Mobile App and the brand’s social channels: TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

 

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