16 August 2019 | News
Investment led by former leadership team at Snyder's of Hanover supports Biena's acceleration in plant-based snacks
US based Biena Snacks, a pioneer in the plant-based snacking movement, has secured $8 million in Series B financing led by MAW Investments. The group was created by snack industry veterans that grew iconic brands such as Snyder's Pretzels, Kettle Chips and Late July Organic Snacks.
Biena offers two product lines, its category-leading Roasted Chickpea Snacks and a new line of Chickpea Puffs, which is already exceeding sales expectations.
"Biena has been a progressive player in natural snacking since day one, getting ahead of the plant-based trend with their roasted chickpeas, while shaking up the market with their reinvented cheese puff," said Peter Michaud of MAW Investments. "We have grown some of the top snack brands in the country, so supporting Biena – a leader in plant-based snacks with a strong growth trajectory – was an opportunity we couldn't miss."
Poorvi Patodia founded Biena in 2012 when the plant-based snacking trend was still in its infancy. Inspired by a favorite childhood snack, she experimented with roasted chickpeas in her own kitchen, and ultimately came up with a unique roasting process that resulted in a light and crispy texture and maintained the protein and fiber of a whole chickpea. Biena is available in 15,000 retail locations nationwide and will nearly double year-over-year revenue in 2019.
"We're thrilled to bring Peter and the team at MAW on board. They have an impressive track record of building category-leading snack brands," said Patodia. "Our goal is to make it easy for Americans to snack healthier by creating the next generation of nutritious, plant-based snacks. MAW's category expertise will be invaluable as we build on our growth momentum as a brand."
Michaud will join Biena's Board of Directors, bringing extensive snack industry experience to the team. He previously led the sales and marketing portfolio of "Better-For-You" Snacking at Snyder's-Lance, Inc., a $1B division which included brands such as Pretzel Crisps®, Late July® Organic Snacks, Kettle Brand® and Eatsmart™. Biena closed its Series A financing in 2017, bringing in a powerful group of investors such as Tastemaker Capital, which includes sports journalist and influencer Darren Rovell, serial entrepreneur Jesse Itzler, and Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. This most recent financing round will support continued acceleration of the Biena brand.
Earlier this year, Biena launched Chickpea Puffs, a game-changing snack that puts taste first and is made from clean, nutrient-dense ingredients including chickpeas and lentils. Biena's expansion into the puffed snack category is off to an explosive start, already ahead of growth projections and distribution targets. Three craveable flavors – Aged White Cheddar, Vegan Ranch, and Blazin' Hot™ – will be hitting Whole Foods nationally in September and available in 3,500 total stores by year's end.