Conscious Cultures, a leading maker of plant-based foods, today announced its corporate rebrand to Bandit and that it raised a $1.5 million seed round led by venture capital firm Prime Movers Lab.
Bandit produces vegan cheeses that use cashews as their base. The company’s signature cheeses include a cave-aged, double cream camembert-inspired bloomy rind called Maverick and a cave-aged, vegetable ash ripened cheese with an ash inlay called Barn Cat. Bandit also produces an array of seasonal cheeses.
“Consumer values are rapidly changing and younger cheese enthusiasts recognize the tremendous impact that agricultural practices are having on climate change, the environment, and animal welfare,” said Bo Babaki, Founder and CEO of Bandit. “We recognized that our former brand resonated with that crowd but did not feel as welcoming to the cheese market as a whole. With the realization that to truly drive the change we want to see in the world, we would need to feel approachable to everyone, we made the decision to be reborn as Bandit. Bandit is an ode to our humble beginning hustling cheese from Philly to Brooklyn using cave-modified household refrigerators in the basement of a yoga studio. Our rebranding as Bandit evokes the origins of our playful spirit while staying true to our ethos at our core.”
The vegan cheese market is expected to grow 5.7% in 2022 and is estimated to reach a market size of $3 billion in 2022 and $7.35 billion in 2032, according to research from Future Market Insights. Venture capital firms like Prime Movers Lab have started to take notice. In 2021, investors poured about $1.4 billion globally into dairy substitute startups – a 70% increase from 2020.
Bandit will use the funding to continue scaling its production processes and growing its fan base. Enthusiasts can expect to find Bandit cheeses in a variety of new grocery stores in Northern California, Texas, and Illinois in the coming months. To find a list of stores that carry Bandit cheeses, click here.
“The Bandit team is pushing the boundaries of cultured, plant-based milks, producing the most compelling vegan cheeses on the market. We have been looking for a dairy-alternative investment, and at the end of the day, Bandit just tasted better than anything else we tried,” said Prime Movers Lab Partner and Bandit Board Member Gaetano Crupi. “They make delicious plant-based foods that will find broad acceptance among chefs at elite restaurants as well as the average American consumer shopping the aisles of their neighborhood grocery store.”
Bandit produces plant-based cheese, crafted with love and care, aged with reverence to the time-honored traditions of old-world cheese making and affinage. Bandit crafts delicious plant-based nourishment for the benefit of their community, their enthusiasts and their team. They craft all of their nourishment with a slow and steady hand, allowing the cultures and enzymes to reach their full potential. For more information, please visit www.eatlikeabandit.com.
About Prime Movers Lab
Prime Movers Lab invests in breakthrough scientific startups founded by Prime Movers, the inventors who transform billions of lives. We invest in companies reinventing energy, transportation, infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and human augmentation. Portfolio investments span in-space transportation, industrial solar heat, ag tech, brain upgrades, nano-structured materials, wafer slicing, prosthetics, 3D printing, mobility, longevity and AI. For more information, please visit https://www.primemoverslab.com.