Good Planet Foods: Allergen-friendly cheese
The founder of Good Planet Foods, the plant-based cheese brand that has attracted $12 million in funding since its 2017 launch, is a serial entrepreneur. Operating out of Seattle in the US, David Israel started in the business arena when he was 19, working in nightclubs, retail, consumer finance and service industries.
The food sector is familiar territory for Israel, and Good Planet Foods is his second venture in this space. He founded snack brand Pop Gourmet in 2011 – the brand grew into an international name in 35 countries and was sold in 3,400 US outlets including Starbucks, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Costco.
With such a background and know-how for running a food business, it’s not surprising to see Israel back in the kitchen. “I am most passionate about food because of the ability to connect with consumers, innovate and make a better product, as well as do good for people and the planet,” he says. “It’s so much fun!”
Good Planet Foods offers plant-based alternatives to mozzarella, parmesan, smoked mozzarella, cheddar and American. These cheeses are available in blocks, slices, and shreds.
Products are made in Greece from a blend of coconut oil and starch extracted from potato and tapioca and are free from dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy.
The recipe is also free from carrageenan and gums, ingredients commonly used in food manufacturing for their gelling, thickening, and stabilising properties.
“After trying the products in the then ‘vegan cheese’ category, I just knew we could do better at increasing consumer base,” says Israel. “That and the ability to have such a positive impact on our environment, animal welfare and to do good for the planet, made [launching Good Planet Foods] so fulfilling,” he adds.
Israel says that from the outset, Good Planet Foods was established for fast growth with market-ready products and ability to scale. He explains: “We had revenues of $5 million in our first 12 months of business. We are growing at an exponential rate.”
To this day, Good Planet Foods has shelf space at 13 major retail names in the US, including Whole Foods, Kroger, and Walmart.
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Date published: 28 July 2020