‘Milk plants, hug cows…’ Miyoko’s Creamery raises $52m, develops industry-first: plant-based cottage cheese

The round – also backed by Cult Capital, Obvious Ventures, Stray Dog, and CPT Capital – will help the Petaluma, CA-based company build its brand in an increasingly competitive marketplace, founder and CEO Miyoko Schinner told FoodNavigator-USA.

“In 2020 we grew 70% – we actually could have grown more, but we have a lot of pandemic constraints – and we’re expecting to grow as much this year, if not more, despite the fact that we haven’t done a lot of marketing.”

She added: “To get to the next level, we need to pour money into marketing both at the trade level and for general brand awareness and product marketing, so we’re are building the team, and we’ve got some really exciting campaigns coming up.”

Animal welfare: ‘I see it as my job as an industry leader to get people to care’

So what’s the message?

While consumer research shows that consumers tend to be more focused on taste, health and sustainability, which are all key to Miyoko’s brand, animal welfare is moving up the agenda, especially for young people, claimed Schinner, a passionate animal rights advocate who secured remnant billboard space in Times Square featuring the strapline: ‘Milk Plants, Hug Cows.’

“Everything we’re trying to do is to connect. It’s not just about the planet and eating plants; we want to change human perception towards animals.  

“If consumers don’t care enough, I see it as my job as an industry leader to get people to care. We can’t just react based on what consumers tell us in surveys​ [about purchase motivations]. If we are trying to re-envision a new future of food that’s going to take all stakeholders into account, it’s our responsibility to talk about the things that matter, and I believe if we’re going to save the planet we have to save animals.”

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