Please welcome noops, a better-for-you and plant-based food innovation company at the nexus of breakfast and dessert

Meet noops, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: New York

Founder: Gregory Struck

The problem: Innovation in snacking has been lacking for decades. The space is dominated by big, legacy players, and options for popular products like pudding are packed with artificial ingredients and major allergens. Adults and kids alike crave nostalgic snacks, but they’re increasingly motivated to choose better-for-you solutions. While plant-based alternatives have emerged in some areas, pudding, and other sweet treat staples at the nexus of breakfast and dessert, have been left behind.

noops’ solution: noops’ plant-based pudding has the nutritional profile of yogurt and the flavor profile of a sweet treat. The oatmilk-based snack is made without any added sugar, it’s free of the top nine common allergens, and it tastes amazing. And, the business is nimble with a robust supply chain — noops is able to get a new product line or variation to market in 150 days, making it three times quicker than its competitors.

Origin story: We have known noops’ founder Gregory for a while, as he was founding COO of another of our portfolio companies, Hungryroot. His deep background operating in CPG companies makes him the right person to build noops, but we were also drawn in by his personal story. When Gregory was diagnosed with cancer and a rare genetic condition several years ago, he adopted a plant-based diet and found his way back to health. He’s now motivated to provide equitable nutrition for all — and help people across economic levels change how they feed themselves and their loved ones without compromising satisfaction and enjoyment.

Why we’re betting on it: Gregory’s expertise in this category and his personal passion make him a great bet. He’s bolstered by a strong executive team, and noops has already shown tremendous traction in wholesale distribution as well as DTC channels. But more broadly, plant-based alternatives are the next generation of innovation in the food space. Businesses that aren’t pursuing those avenues will be soon, and noops is miles ahead.

Our take: noops is starting its snack domination with organic oatmilk pudding, but the sky’s the limit in terms of expansion into adjacent categories. Innovation is sorely needed in unsexy corners of the pantry, and the brands willing to take on incumbents will fill our carts before long.

Further reading:Hungryroot co-founder’s new venture, Noops, a plant-based pudding startup, raises another $2M” via TechCrunch

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Lerer Hippeau is the most active early-stage venture capital fund in New York.