VO2 Partners and Arlon Group have made a growth equity investment in The Chia Company, the world's largest producer of Chia, to support its fast growth and global expansion.
CEO John Foss founded The Chia Co. in 2003. Foss, a fourth generation Australian farmer, started the Chia industry in response to a significant shift in demand for healthier natural foods. Chia is the highest plant based source of omega-3s, fiber and protein. The Chia Co. has developed the only fully traceable global supply chain for Chia, with every product traceable back to the paddock on which it was grown. As well as supplying global food manufacturers such as Kellogg and PepsiCo, The Chia Co. produces its own brand of Chia products, stocked in national retailers such as Whole Foods Markets.
"VO2 and Arlon are exciting partners for us. Their investment supports our vision to make the nutrition in chia available to consumers on a daily basis. Their experience in agribusiness, food manufacturing and consumer retail markets builds on our expertise in farming and the global health food market" says Foss.
According to their new partners, John and his management team have built The Chia Co. brand the right way. "We have been enormously impressed with the caliber of The Chia Co.'s management team and with their ability to build an authentic brand to capture the extraordinary opportunity for Chia globally. We are extremely pleased to be partnering with them," said Laurence Levi, CEO of VO2 Partners.
"We are thrilled with the opportunity to invest in the growth of the premier global Chia supplier. Management led by John Foss has developed leading and proprietary agronomy practices for chia and our investment can help augment the company's supply, brand and overall category growth," said Benjamin Fishman, managing principal of Arlon Group .
As part of the investment Stacy Madison, founder of Stacy's Pita Chips, which sold to Pepsico in 2006, will join John Foss and April Helliwell on The Chia Co. board of directors, along with Anders Petersen from VO2 Partners and Hunter McCrossin from Arlon Group.
The investors have taken a minority stake in The Chia Co. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.