This week, food corporation Hain Celestial (through its Cultivate Ventures strategic program) announced its acquisition of Oregon-based brand Better Bean Company. Launched by Keith Kullberg as a family business in 2009, the company creates its vegan-certified products—such as Cuban Black Beans, Southwestern Pinto Beans, and Roasted Chipotle Red Beans—by cooking a variety of beans with vegetables, spices, oil, and vinegar instead of lard, chicken broth, or other animal products traditionally used in similar bean preparations. “Better Bean products are aligned with consumer demand for nutritious food, plant-based protein, fiber, clean labels and convenience,” Cultivate Ventures’ CEO Beena Goldenberg said. Hain Celestial—which also owns vegan company Yves Veggie Cuisine—isn’t the only major food corporation looking to add plant-based products to its portfolio. In recent months, meat giant Tyson Foods invested in vegan brand Beyond Meat, yogurt company Danone acquired WhiteWave (parent company of plant-based milk brands Silk and So Delicious), and General Mills made a handful of investments into plant-based brands including D’s Naturals, Rhythm Superfoods, and Purely Elizabeth, amongst others.
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