yamo, a leading brand of fresh and natural food for babies and young children, has today announced a €10.1m investment to expand its product line, grow its direct-to-consumer business and work with more European retail businesses. Products are already stocked by Coop across Switzerland, and are being tested in select Edeka and Rewe stores in Germany.
The latest round from France-based Five Season Ventures, Swiss Entrepreneurs Fund, Ringier Digital Ventures, Müller Ventures, btov Partners, Polytech Ventures, BackBone Ventures and Fundament brings its total funding to €12M.
Co-founded in 2016 by CEO Tobias Gunzenhauser, COO José Amado-Blanco, and CMO Luca Michas, yamo is on a mission to give parents healthier and easy food choices for their child.
Today parents can either use preserved food in jars from the dry shelves of a supermarket or make their own fresh meals for their child at home, which requires more time and skills. Traditionally baby and toddler food available in supermarkets has used ultra-high heat sterilisation, which provides a long shelf life, but also destroys many heat-sensitive vitamins like Vitamin C, natural colour and smell. yamo uses high pressure pasteurisation (HPP) which kills bacteria in minutes, and retains natural nutrients, taste, colour and smell. yamo’s products last between eight to twelve weeks in the refrigerator.
Tobias Gunzenhauser, CEO and co-founder of yamo, commented: “Since the beginning yamo has been at the forefront of a new wave of health conscious products for children. When we found ourselves standing in the baby food aisle of a supermarket and looking at what went into a jar, we were shocked at just how long it was shelf stable for. Standard methods mean we have lost so much goodness from the food we give a child, that we’re probably not providing them with the strongest start, with all the real nutrients they need to develop. We have been leading on the use of HPP in the infant food market and we’ve been able to convince our partners to adapt their stores to ensure our fresh food can be stocked. We now see fridges amongst the dry baby food shelves of supermarkets – something we were told would be impossible to achieve! We’re working with leading retailers across DACH and excited to take the next step to explore the French market.”
yamo is revolutionizing not only the range of products that parents can buy for their children, but also the way children’s food is sold. As the products are fresh, yamo and Coop Switzerland managed to successfully implement a fridge into the children’s dry food aisle. They installed 30 yamo Point of Sale displays with fridges across its stores, and enabled yamo to be purchased through Coop online as well.
Olivier Schwegler, purchasing product manager Baby Coop, said: “We at Coop recognized early on that fresh baby food from yamo could lead a new era in the baby food sector. Together with yamo, we are taking on a pioneering role in baby food. We are very satisfied with the cooperation, which we want to expand in the future.”
yamo products are designed to appeal to the parents who purchase them, they include Cups, from Beetney Spears to Anthony Pumpkins; Pouches, with flavours such as Avocado di Caprio, Nicki Spinaj and Katy Berry; and newly launched yamoghurts.
The non-dairy alternative yoghurt made with oat milk is the first of its kind to launch in Europe for children, with flavours Mariah Cherry or Chocodile Dundee, among others. This is driven by a wider consumer move towards plant-based sustainable alternatives. One of the top food trends is the plant-based revolution, according to Innova Market Insights, a global knowledge leader in the food and beverage industry. Grand View Research predicts that the global dairy alternatives market is expected to reach $41 billion by 2025.
Niccolo Manzoni, managing partner at Five Seasons Ventures, added: “As consumers increasingly focus on the quality of food they buy and become more health-conscious and smarter about how they get the nutrients they need, we’re seeing conscientious parents become more aware of what they give their child. We have been looking at the baby food sector for two years now, and believe that yamo has the right positioning, offering and brand to emerge as the leader of this category. At Five Seasons Ventures, we invest in future category leaders in the food sector and we are excited to back Tobias, Luca, Jose and the rest of the yamo team.”
Products can be purchased in supermarkets but are also available through a subscription online. Parents complete a short form for yamo to find out more about their child, and make recommendations based on what each infant likes. Having seen success online and gaining momentum in-store across the DACH region, this investment will be used to further it’s reach and expand into the French market towards the end of this year.