Hilary’s, a trailblazer in delicious plant-based foods that are free from common allergens, has received a significant growth capital investment led by VG Growth Partners, a new fund created with the mission to advance the next generation of consumer brands. Founded by industry veterans Michael Caridi, Sanjeev Vinayak and Hitesh Hajarnavis, VG Growth Partners will serve dual roles as investment partners and strategic advisors to the brand. Hilary’s is currently the No. 1-selling veggie burger brand as measured by SPINS, and is poised for tremendous growth in the free-from category, which is projected to reach $20 billion by 2020.
“We’re experiencing mounting demand for our foods within the allergen-free community in addition to adding mainstream shoppers who want clean, healthy options that are easy to prepare,” said Lydia Butler, president and chief financial officer of Hilary’s. “The astounding consumer response that has led to our current leadership in the market is a testament to the fact that people want delicious and nourishing cuisine, and we’re grateful that our new investors, VG Growth Partners, share our vision for healing the American diet.”
The new round of funding will enable Hilary’s to expand its internal sales and marketing teams, amplify expansion of its retail footprint, and accelerate innovation and new product development. Hilary’s is the third investment for VG Growth Partners in the allergen-friendly space. With more than 50 years combined experience leading natural food brands, the founders of VG Growth Partners not only see the market opportunity in the food allergy space, but are personally passionate about helping to increase the accessibility of free-from foods across the country through brands families can trust.
“Free-from is a booming category with tremendous potential for growth, and I know so many families—including my own—who are directly affected by food allergies,” said Hitesh Hajarnavis, a founding partner of VG Growth Partners. “Experiencing firsthand the daily challenges and emotional worry that I know other families affected by food allergies are dealing with, is part of what fuels our passion for this space. We’re determined to make a difference, and it’s real deal brands like Hilary’s that are charting a new future by creating great tasting foods that are not only safe for those with allergies but also enjoyed by all that will make it possible for us. It’s thrilling to be part of this food revolution!”
A true disruptor in allergy-friendly eating, Hilary’s is best known for its plant-based veggie burgers; however, its recent line extensions and launches—including Millet Medleys and Veggie Sausages—have quickly climbed to the top of their respective categories as well. Hilary’s investment from VG Growth Partners also follows new national distribution gains for the brand, including placement at Kroger for its shelf-stable dressings and a partnership with frozen food e-commerce platform, Healthy Goodness.
All Hilary’s foods are free from common allergens, including wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, nuts, and corn, and are vegan, Certified Gluten Free, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Organic. Hilary’s products are available at conventional and natural grocery stores nationwide, as well as online.