A recent feature in Fortune revealed the intentions behind multinational food corporations investing in and acquiring plant-based companies. Writer John Kell outlined the trend of large companies such as Kellogg’s, Campbell’s, and General Mills—who recently invested $18 million in vegan cheese company Kite Hill—to create venture capital funds dedicated to bolstering small plant-based companies. Kell explained how funneling capital into such startups makes fiscal sense, but such investments–which have totaled $8 billion since 2010 according to Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison—often raises questions among ethical consumers. “It is really hard for big companies to create new businesses,” Vice President of General Mills’ investment fund 301 Inc. John Haugen said. “We don’t want to tell them how to run their company.” Kell concluded with the comment that it’s lucrative for grocers to diversify their shelves to meet changing customer demands and that these investments create an opportunity for smaller businesses to dedicate more capital to expanding distribution and marketing channels.
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