Quinn, a natural foods snack company known for reimagining classic snacks, announced it has closed additional Series D funding including an undisclosed, minority investment, from The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY), as well as existing investors. The funding will support new distribution and product innovation.
Established in 2010 only three days after founder Kristy Lewis’ son Quinn was born, the company’s mission is to use the very best real ingredients backed with a commitment to supporting agriculture and food transparency. Today, Quinn has established itself as a salty snack leader in the natural channel with distribution in over 7,500 stores nationwide. Excitement for the brand’s innovative snacks, which include both savory and indulgent product offerings paired with accelerating distribution, has led to 65% growth in revenue this year over last year and has elevated Quinn to the leading pretzel brand in the Natural Channel and Whole Foods Market.
The investment comes as venture funding for female founders experienced its lowest quarterly total in three years, according to Pitchbook Data. Furthermore, women-led companies receive only 2.2% of all venture capital and only 7% of Fortune 500 companies, including The Hershey Company led by Michele Buck, currently have female CEO’s. Buck and Hershey have built a reputation for their sustainability and diversity and inclusion practices, and the company was recently recognized as one of ‘America’s Most Just Companies’ By Forbes and Just Capital.
“Quinn shares Hershey’s commitment to sustainable business practices, inclusivity, listening to consumers, and being transparent about how their products are made and what goes into them,” said Steve Voskuil, Hershey Chief Financial Officer. “Its emergence as a leader in natural foods is impressive, and we look forward to supporting their next phase of growth.”
“We are thrilled to have the support of Hershey, a company that is leading the way in gender equality by fostering an inclusive work environment and closing the pay gap,” said Kristy Lewis, Founder and CEO of Quinn. “The Quinn team and I are honored to be backed by a company leading change in our space.” As Quinn rapidly expands distribution and sets future strategic goals, timing couldn’t be better. “Hershey’s keen eye for category disrupting brands and building them into household names makes them an invaluable partner. After 10 years of creating a solid foundation to build from, we are looking forward to the next chapter in our story.”
BE BETTER. DO BETTER.™ MISSION
Since the company was founded, Quinn has been a thought leader in ingredient transparency through it’s Farm-to-Bag™ Initiative and is doubling down on their dedication to improving the food ecosystem with the recently launched Be Better. Do Better.™ mission. Rooted in advancing regenerative agriculture, Be Better. Do Better.™ identifies opportunities for farmers to integrate their crops into the company’s supply chain using these farming practices. Transitioning to regenerative agriculture is not only better for farmers, improving yield and getting them out of commodity markets, but it also is better for the planet as healthy soil can sequester carbon in the atmosphere. In June, the company’s Be Better. Do Better.™ launched their first pilot project, planting 85 acres of sorghum on Tucker Farms in Western Nebraska. Once harvested, the crop will go to trial to be used in Quinn pretzels. Learn more about their mission and watch their short documentary at www.quinnsnacks.com/mission-be-better-do-better
Quinn is shaking up snacks by delivering industry firsts using only 100% REAL ingredients and a dedication to transparency. They delivered the 1st microwave popcorn in a patented PURE POP BAG® made of compostable paper free of chemicals, plastic and heat conducting susceptors made with only REAL ingredients and non-GMO organic kernels; the 1st pretzels on the market made with whole grain, naturally gluten-free sorghum; the 1st gluten-free peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets, and the 1st grain-free paleo pretzel chips. Quinn’s ‘Be Better. Do Better.’ initiative is a commitment to support and seek out ag partners who are taking steps to improve their practices, thereby improving our food supply and environment. Quinn’s Farm to Bag™ initiative shares details about their ingredients, growers and suppliers on their website. Founder/CEO Kristy Lewis was chosen by Whole Foods as one of the ‘Women Makers: Raising the Bar’ highlighting women and industry leaders who inspire and motivate others to create new and better products. She was honored as one of the ‘Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs’ by Fortune Magazine, Quinn Snacks was named ‘Snack Producer of the Year’ by Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery and Quinn has won multiple awards for innovation and packaging. To learn more visit Quinnsnacks.com
The Hershey Company is headquartered in Hershey, Pa., and is an industry-leading snacks company known for bringing goodness to the world through its iconic brands, remarkable people and enduring commitment to help children succeed. Hershey has approximately 16,000 employees around the world who work every day to deliver delicious, quality products. The company has more than 80 brands around the world that drive $8 billion in annual revenues, including such iconic brand names as Hershey’s®, Reese’s®, Kit Kat®, Jolly Rancher®, Ice Breakers®, SkinnyPop®, and Pirate’s Booty®. For more than 125 years, Hershey has been committed to operating fairly, ethically and sustainably. Hershey founder, Milton Hershey, created the Milton Hershey School in 1909 and since then the company has focused on helping children succeed.
To learn more visit www.thehersheycompany.com