Uncle Matt’s Organic Returns to Founder

Ernie NeffIndustry News Release, Organic

Uncle Matt's

Uncle Matt’s Organic, a brand of organic orange juice and grapefruit juice, recently reported it “has been welcomed back home to founder and CEO Matt McLean.”

Dean Foods purchased the business in June of 2017 “and retained the team to continue running the business, including McLean and his wife, Susan McLean, who oversees marketing,” states a May 11 release. “In November of 2019, Dean Foods filed for bankruptcy after struggling with shifting consumer preferences, private label competition and a reduction in milk processing. This unique situation presented an opportunity for McLean to bid for the beloved brand he started.”  The sale of the juice business to Harmoni, Inc., was finalized on April 30, 2020.

McLean said, “When Dean’s financial distress took a saddening and unfortunate turn, it became a rare opportunity for us to purchase Uncle Matt’s to expand distribution, innovate into new categories, and educate consumers on the intrinsic health benefits of buying organic.”  

“This unexpected homecoming also includes a new parent company named Harmoni, Inc., and an all-star advisory team of investors,” the release adds. Investors include Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of Stonyfield Organic; John Foraker, former CEO of Annie’s and co-founder and CEO of Once Upon a Farm; Andrew Abraham, CEO and founder at Orgain; Nicole and Peter Dawes, founders of Late July Snacks & Nixie Sparkling Water; and Matt Rogers, founder of Nest and Incite.org.

The release states that Renewal Funds, a mission venture capital firm, also participated. Bob Burke, principal of Natural Products Consulting LLC, will join board members Matt and Susan McLean, Hirshberg and Paul Richardson, co-founder and managing partner of Renewal Funds.

Learn more about organic citrus here.

Source: Uncle Matt’s Organic