Hershey nabs stake of ‘likeminded’ mission driven all-natural snacks producer

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Quinn and Hershey share commitment in sustainable business practices, inclusivity and transparency. Pic: Quinn
Quinn and Hershey share commitment in sustainable business practices, inclusivity and transparency. Pic: Quinn

Related tags Quinn Snacks Hershey women in business Sustainability inclusivity Transparency Farm-to-Bag Clean label

Quinn – which was founded by a woman on the credo of social commitments and natural ingredients – has closed additional Series D funding, including an undisclosed minority investment from the confectionery giant.

According to Steve Voskuil, Hershey’s chief financial officer, Quinn shares its commitment to sustainable business practices, inclusivity, listening to consumers and being transparent about how their products are made and what goes into them.

The Hershey investment also comes as venture funding for female founders experienced its lowest quarterly total in three years, according to Pitchbook Data. Women-led companies receive only 2.2% of all venture capital and only 7% of the Fortune 500 companies currently have female CEO’s.

As its lead, Hershey’s Michele Buck has built a reputation for the company’s sustainability and diversity and inclusion practices, recently securing its position as one of ‘America's Most Just Companies’ by Forbes and Just Capital.

Increased distribution, innovation

Hershey’s investment adds to Quinn’s $3m Series D funding round in September, which was led by the company’s Board of Directors and investors BFG Partners, Echo Capital, John Foraker, Gil Fronzaglia, Sunil Thakor and an investment arm of the Lissette family.

Quinn said the latest financial boost will be used to support further distribution and product innovation.

Over the past year, the company has aggressively expanded distribution – including Walmart, Whole Foods Market, Kroger, Wegmans and partnerships with online retailers Thrive Market, Hungryroot and Imperfect Foods – leading to 65% growth in revenue and elevating it to become the leading pretzel brand in the Natural Channel.

The decade-old Colorado company’s portfolio includes microwave popcorn, pretzels and pretzel chips with sorghum is a key ingredient, sold in more than 7,500 stores across the US.

“Its emergence as a leader in natural foods is impressive, and we look forward to supporting their next phase of growth,” ​said Voskuil.


Founded in 2010 by Kristy Lewis, Quinn is an ardent promoter of sustainable agriculture and its ‘farm-to-bag’ ingredient transparency.

“We are thrilled to have the support of Hershey, a company that is leading the way in gender equality by fostering an inclusive work environment and closing the pay gap,”​ said Lewis.

“As Quinn rapidly expands distribution and sets future strategic goals, timing couldn’t be better. Hershey’s keen eye for category disrupting brands and building them into household names makes them an invaluable partner.

“After 10 years of creating a solid foundation to build from, we are looking forward to the next chapter in our story.”

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