As America's largest dairy milk producer, Dean Foods, files for bankruptcy, high-flying plant-based alternatives like Oatly and Mooala continue to grow at a rapid clip.
To help Mooala scale up to selling in 3,500 stores by January, the Dallas-based company has raised $8.3 million in a Series A financing round.
Jeff Richards, founder and CEO of Mooala, says large food retailers have grown more receptive to smaller brands. Mooala already occupies shelf space in over 2,500 stores today, including in major chains like Whole Foods, Kroger, and Costco. Richards says Mooala is also in talks with Walmart, America's largest grocer.
"The large Walmarts of the world, the Costcos of the world [are] really embracing the trend of smaller, organic food and beverage makers," Richards said. "That's really helped us make a name for ourselves."
Richards, who is allergic to both nuts and dairy, founded the company in 2016 when he realized the lack of options for people like him. The company's flagship product, Bananamilk, consists of bananas, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and salt.
Richards noted that much of Mooala's plant-based competition falls into two categories. On the low-end, these products are made with a lot of fillers, and on the high-end, expensive options are only found in natural food stores.
"We're going for that middle part, that organic, affordable, family-friendly option that the market has been missing," Richards said.