Using innovative food product reformulation and design (e.g. reduced fat and sugar; functional foods; and fortified food) to support growing numbers of consumers seeking ‘healthier’ foods or foods targeting specific health outcomes.
Grounded Foods has created a ‘cheese-free cheese’ made from fermented cauliflower and hemp seed. Free from dairy, nuts, soy, gluten or GMOs and using ‘imperfect vegetables’, its product is nutrient-rich, and more environmentally sustainable and affordable to manufacture than other dairy-alternative cheeses on the market. This makes plant-based cheese more accessible to consumers than ever before, and taps into their growing preference for products personalised to their health, environmental consciousness and lifestyle needs.
The business has grown rapidly, taking only six months from funding to product launch, after securing US$1.74 million in seed funding. The business now has a double-digit US$ million valuation. It has patents and trademarks in Australia, the EU, Canada and US, with global expansion planned.
Following a smart analysis of consumer insight and trends, the company founders spotted that cheese was a massive gap in the growing market for plant-based food. But taking it from an idea to a finished product required specialist help. With FIAL’s assistance, Grounded was part of the MARS Food ‘Seeds of Change’ Accelerator program. This collaboration helped to connect the business with those capable of further fast-tracking the growth of this innovative food-focused business in its target market of the USA.
They received specialist advice and mentorship around how best to design their business model, choose the right channels of distribution, IP management, and strategy. Within two months of being in the Accelerator program, Grounded had attracted its first round of venture capital, and had moved to the US to commercialise the concept.
This case study is from FIAL's 2022 edition of Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2022