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True invests £26m in health and wellness brand Soulfresh

Soulfresh, ‘better-for-you’ food and beverage company, has received £26 million in funding from retail and consumer investment firm True, to support growth and international expansion.

With a market presence in six countries, Soulfresh develops and distributes 11 owned health and wellness focused brands, operating across three core categories: fermented beverages, plant-based foods and drinks.

Brands within Soulfresh’s portfolio include Lo Bros (range of kombucha drinks), Nutty Bruce (plant-based milk alternatives) and Pico (organic vegan chocolate).

According to True, Soulfresh’s portfolio grew more than 100% year-on-year as the structural shift in mainstream consumer behaviour towards low sugar, natural, plant-based and sustainable products continues to grow.

As part of its investment, True will work with founder Didi Lo and Soulfresh’s management team to support the brands in achieving continued scalable growth and international expansion.

Soulfresh will be able to leverage True’s live network of marketing solutions and global grocery network that includes Waitrose, M&S and Morrisons in the UK, and 7-Eleven, TJX and Shell retail worldwide to help grow the brands’ presence and further accelerate distribution.

Matt Truman, co-founder and CEO of True, said: “At True we invest in business models that are at the forefront of consumer behavioural shift. Soulfresh is at the epicentre of the global health, wellness and sustainability mega-trends with a focus on R&D and innovation that is market leading.

“Our unique business model will allow us to genuinely add value for Didi and his team who have built a fantastic platform of brands with potential for rapid growth.”

Ben Clarke will join the board as the independent chairman of the company, bringing 25 years’ working in the industry. Most recently, Clarke served as chairman of the protein brand Grenade.

Didi Lo, CEO and founder of Soulfresh, said: “In the past 15 years Soulfresh has experienced a great deal of growth off the back of disrupting mainstream categories like juices, soft drinks and dairy milk.

“We have been looking for the right partner to take our fast growing, innovative global business to the next level and have found that in True. At Soulfresh, we are passionate about innovation, growth and championing healthy food and drinks for the mainstream, and in True we have found a partner who believes in the scale of the opportunity these market shifts provide.”