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Kellogg Company (K) Invests $2 Million in Bright Greens

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Kellogg Company’s (K - Free Report) venture-capital fund (eighteen94 capital) invested $2 million in Bright Greens – a maker of plant-based frozen smoothies.

eighteen94 capital was established in Jun 2016 with the aim to make minority investments in start-up companies. It intends to invest approximately $100 million in ‘emerging businesses in both Kellogg's core categories and adjacent categories, and in companies that have developed new consumer-driven technologies that could lead to long-term, mutual growth opportunities. ‘

This marks the second investment by eighteen94 capital, after putting in money into food startup Kuli Kuli in Jan 2017 to tap into the growing demand for herbal teas and moringa-based products.

Rationale Behind

Major U.S. food companies are vying to retain market share as easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat convenience foods are gradually losing ground. Trends that have gathered steam in the U.S. in recent years include a shift toward healthier options in the food sector and a high level of price consciousness.

This seismic shift in the U.S. food industry is creating roadblocks for food behemoths such as General Mills Inc. (GIS - Free Report) , Tate & Lyle PLC (TATYY - Free Report) and Campbell Soup Company (CPB - Free Report) others, thus making it harder for legacy brands to boost sales.

In order to fight this problem, many food companies have developed a venture fund to invest in relatively newer companies with healthier and organic products.

Apart from such investments, Kellogg is channeling funds toward product and packaging innovation as well as reformulation of many existing products to keep up with the rapidly changing views of consumers regarding health and wellness. The company has completely redesigned the Special K brand in the domestic market and has also re-positioned it as a healthy lifestyle brand. Further, it is striving to remove artificial colors and flavors from the Kellogg brand of cereals and a variety of snack bars as well as Eggo frozen foods by the end of 2018.

Share Price Movement

The company’s shares have been trading almost on par with the broader Zacks categorized Food-Miscellaneous/Diversified industry on a year-to-date basis. The stock has lost 2.5% in the period, compared with the broader food market’s 2.4% decline. Estimates for this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock have moved down for the current year and the next over the last 60 days.

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