Since its launch in 2018, RIND has been shaking up the snacks category with its ‘skin-on’ superfruit snacks that address food waste and nutrition, specifically childhood hunger.
With consumer interest mounting in upcycled offerings, the movement was given a formal definition by the Upcycled Food Association in 2019 as using ‘ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment’.
By retaining the rind on ‘rescued’ fruit, RIND’s snacks are packed with more fibre and vitamins, and help fight unnecessary food waste by using the fruit, the whole fruit and nothing but the fruit.
New snack offering
With VSV’s backing – along with a follow-on investment from Melitas Ventures – RIND is planning to ramp up production of its nutrient-dense, zero waste snacks, along with an accelerated push into new categories, including a new chips line in later this year.
“We view our crispy fruit chip line as highly complementary to our core chewy dried snacks,” said RIND founder and CEO Matt Weiss.
“RIND Chips will function as more of a fast snack with greater shareability and versatility.
“They will also differ from freeze-dried offerings currently on the market in our use of more unique fruits, greater functional benefits, such as more vitamin C and fibre than other chips on the market, and a clean snacking experience without the powdery mess.”
The capital will also allow RIND to build a world-class team to support the continued fight against food waste. In 2020 alone, the company said it has diverted more than 120,000 pounds of edible peels from landfill:
VSV – which was formed by Valor Equity Partners in 2019 with a $100m investment from Starbucks – saw a natural fit with RIND, which posted a five-fold growth in revenue last year and expects to more than triple sales in 2021.
Retailers are also eagerly buying into the concept and the brand today is available in over 3,000 bricks-and-motor locations – such as Wegmans, Whole Foods Market, CVS and Meijer, among others – and across several leading D2C omni-channel platforms.
“In a short period of time, the RIND team has built an exciting and purpose-driven brand,” said Jon Shulkin, partner and fund manager at VSV.
“By crafting highly nutritious and functional snacks that help reduce food waste, we believe RIND has the potential to build a great platform that is well aligned to consumer preferences for healthy, sustainable snacks.”
Weiss believes the fruit snack space, once a sleepy category, is now wide open for disruption, a view backed up by Global Market Insight that projects it to grow at an 8.4% CAGR to 2025.
“VSV shares our vision for awakening this category with a keen focus on function and sustainability, helping consumers both snack better and do better through the ‘power of the peel’,” said Weiss.
“VSV is a leader in supporting and building brands with an omni-channel and alternative distribution approach and has several large and strategic partners that represent exciting long-term opportunities for RIND.”