Proterra Investment Partners Asia builds on investment in plant-based eggs with premium yogurt and oat milk transactions
London/Singapore 24 May 2021 – Proterra Investment Partners Asia (“Proterra Asia”), the Asian arm of leading global food and agribusiness private equity fund manager Proterra Investment Partners, announces the completion of two investments into high-growth sectors within the food industry: Simple Love (also known as Jian Ai), a premium fresh yogurt brand in China, and a newly established oat milk business out of Singapore and Indonesia.
The two transactions follow Proterra Asia’s previously announced partnership with a leading alternative protein company to build a large-scale plant protein extraction facility in Singapore to meet growing demand across Asia for the award-winning plant-based egg product JUST Egg. Proterra Asia has partnered with the global investment business, Fidante Partners, to provide access to European capital formation opportunities.
Simple Love is a fast-growing fresh yogurt brand in China, focusing on the premium low-temperature segment. The business has grown to 2% market share (6th largest) in China, with sales growing at a compound annual growth rate of 109% over the past five years based on the company’s sales data. The product is being distributed in nearly all provinces across China. The company has completed construction of its new state-of-the-art production facility in Hebei Province with 11 production lines and total capacity of 500 metric tons per day. Proterra Asia invested in Simple Love which recently raised 800 million yuan ($124 million). Proterra Asia facilitated the implementation of the company’s upstream raw milk supply strategy in partnership with the leading dairy producer in China, and will continue to assist through a seat on the board of the company’s upstream subsidiary.
Proterra Asia has also invested in a newly established enterprise that is offering a branded oat milk product that has been developed with the Asian consumer in mind. The plant-based milk sector is expanding rapidly in Asia and is forecast to become a $12.3 billion market by 2024,1 with oat milk the fastest growing category. Proterra Asia is the lead investor in this company, which the team believes has the opportunity to become a major oat milk brand in Asia, alongside current global market leader Oatly.
Proterra Asia’s Food Strategy capitalises on accelerating consumer demand that comes with growing urban populations and the emergence of a new generation of consumers looking for safe, high quality food products with attributes that meet their desires for health, nutrition, convenience, social impact and sustainability. Proterra Asia’s investments support the elevation of standards in the Asian food sector, build food infrastructure across Asia, provide access to more sustainable sources of protein, create jobs, and positively impact local communities such as smallholder farmers, with an investment philosophy that directly supports six of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Tai Lin, Managing Partner of Proterra Asia, said: “The recent completion of our investments in Simple Love and the oat milk brand is aligned with our strategy to focus on the fastest growing sub-sectors within the food sector in Asia. Asia is forecasted to double its annual spend on food from $4 trillion in 2020 to $8 trillion by 2030.2 The rise of the Asian consumer continues to present exciting thematic trends in premiumisation, health and nutrition, and sustainability given rapid urbanisation, a growing middle class, and the evolving consumption patterns of millennials and Gen-Zs.
“As sector specialists with an extensive pan-Asian network, we have been building Proterra’s relationships, expertise, and resources in the region and industry for well over a decade. We believe this level of focus positions us to effectively identify and partner with businesses with outsized growth potential. Our approach for the Asian Food Strategy sees us being more than just a passive shareholder in businesses, but also as a driver of progressive change. Our goal is to continue to invest in the sustainable future of food in Asia.”
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About Proterra Investment Partners Asia
Proterra Investment Partners is an alternative investment manager focused on investing in the global food and agriculture sectors. Proterra was ranked the #1 Global Private Equity Ag-Focused Investor by AUM by Global AgInvesting (2019). The Proterra Asia team has been making private equity investments in the Asian food sector for over a decade and operates out of its offices in Singapore and Shanghai.
About Simple Love
Simple Love is a natural yogurt brand owned by Guangzhou Honest Dairy Company Limited. Simple Love’s flagship product is a clean label low-temperature yogurt free of sugar and additives, targeted at health-conscious Chinese consumers.
2 PWC, Rabobank and Temasek, The Asia Food Challenge (2019).