General Mills’ VC arm leads multimillion pound growth investment in Pots & Co, to expand its US offering

Pots & Co, the London-based food company best known for its range of hand-crafted potted puddings, available in UK supermarkets including Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, has today announced that 301 INC, the venture capital arm of General Mills INC, is leading a multistage investment of up to £15m ($20m) into the business as part of a growth strategy to expand its product range and distribution in the US.

General Mills INC is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. Its largest brands include Haagen Dazs, Old El Paso and Nature Valley. Its 301 INC investment arm seeks emerging food brands with compelling products for direct investment, leveraging the skill and capability of General Mills.

The investment into Pots & Co is supported by increased retail distribution in the US. Pots & Co will initially supply both its range of unique potted puddings and longer term its new savoury, Mezze style dips range, launched in the UK in Selfridges in 2020, to a select number of stores on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountain region.

The expanded retail distribution of select Pots & Co products marks a major expansion in the distribution of its products in the US. All products distributed in the US are currently hand made in Pots & Co’s London-based factory. This investment will also enable the business to explore manufacturing capabilities in the US as well as invest further into marketing and distributing the brand.

Commenting on the investment, Julian Dyer, Founder of Pots & Co said: “We want to create one of the world’s leading food brands and we are thrilled that General Mills has invested in Pots & Co, enabling us to speed up the growth of our business and creating fabulous products for the American consumer. We continue to focus on exceptional quality and taste, using only the finest natural ingredients to deliver top quality puddings and savoury food to supermarket aisles in both the UK and the US.”

John Haugen, Founder and Managing Director of 301 INC, the venture capital arm of General Mills INC said: “Our mission is to discover new and emerging food brands with a remarkable offering. Pots & Co fulfils that mission with its focus on natural ingredients to create puddings of restaurant quality. As our first overseas investment and first investment in a UK company, we believe Pots & Co will deliver substantial growth with an increasing range of puddings and with its move into savoury products. We’re excited to partner as the brand expands its presence in the US market.”

Pots & Co has generated rapid growth since it was founded in London in 2013. It produced sales of £2m in 2014 which increased to £14m in 2020, a 700% increase over six years. Pots & Co currently produces 16 million handmade puddings a year and is also famous for its signature ceramic pots spun by a family business in Valencia, Spain.