Austin, Texas-based baby food company Serenity Kids has closed a $1.5 million funding round led by Wild Ventures, an early-stage venture fund of wellness influencers. The investment will support the operations, inventory, research and development, and extend the national presence for the only high-fat, low-sugar baby food on the market.
Serenity Kids is a baby food company on a mission to provide quality nutrient-dense foods from the first bite, support regenerative agriculture and help enable small American family farms to succeed.
Wild Ventures’ founder and general partner John Durant will join the company’s advisory board. Additional investors in the round include Whole30 founder Melissa Hartwig Urban; Wellness Mama founder Katie Wells; Vani Hari the Food Babe; celebrity nutritionist Kelly LeVeque; renowned neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter; Thrive Market founders Nick Green, Gunnar Lovelace and Sasha Siddhartha; and more. Thrive Market Ventures, the in-house investment vehicle of online retailer Thrive Market, also backed the company.
The investment builds on an exceptional year for Serenity Kids, which has only been to market since August 2018, yet recently launched nationwide into Whole Foods, doubled its team and brought eight SKUs to market, including the only pouched baby foods available with Grass Fed Beef and Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon. Grass Fed Bison & Organic Kabocha Squash and Spinach, as well as Pasture Raised Turkey with Organic Sweet Potato, Pumpkin & Squash will join the flavor lineup later this year, with the brand launching in nearly 80 Hy-Vee grocery stores in August.
Driven to combat chronic health conditions with lifestyle, Wild Ventures is highly selective in its investments, only partnering with companies with aligned values and mission. Serenity Kids is dedicated to changing the way kids eat, starting at infancy with the first bite. An ideal first food, the blends pack vital nutrients including protein, zinc, iron, B vitamins and healthy fats as recommended for infants by the USDA, into 3.5-oz. pouches. Designed to mimic the macronutrients of breastmilk, the line is available in unique and savory flavor profiles like Pastured Uncured Bacon with Organic Butternut Squash & Kale and Organic Butternut Squash & Spinach with Avocado Oil, with all recipes devoid of gluten, grain, dairy, corn, eggs or nuts.
“It’s shocking how many baby food companies essentially sell sugar smoothies,” said John Durant, founder and general partner of Wild Ventures. “I love that Serenity and Joe approached baby food with more humility: Mother Nature knows best. They modeled the macros to mimic breastmilk—the appropriate nutritional standard—and sourced the highest quality, nutrient-dense ingredients, without the added sugar. Our community loves the Serenity Kids mission and we’re going to shout it from the rooftops.”
Serenity Kids supports regenerative and ethical farming techniques by only sourcing American-grown organic vegetables and GAP-certified meat from small family farms in the U.S. Ingredients are free of any antibiotics, added hormones, pesticides, fillers and GMOs, and the brand extends its commitment to supporting ethical farming by giving a portion of its profits to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. The pouches are also recyclable for free via a partnership with TerraCycle.
“We’re so pleased to have found a partner that fully believes and lives our mission,” said Serenity Kids CEO and co-founder Serenity Carr. “Support from Wild Ventures will allow us to make even more impact in improving how our babies eat, and ultimately help provide a healthier nutritional foundation for the kids and adults they will become.”
Shelf-stable for 18-months and designed for infants over 6 months old, all recipes are pediatrician recommended with nutritional formulations created under the guidance of Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. and founder of The Paleo Mom. Ballantyne also sits on the brand’s advisory board, which also includes wellness and food industry leaders Taylor Collins, CEO of EPIC Provisions; Sam Elick, CEO of BrainJuice; and Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution.
Currently available in more than 700 retail stores including Whole Foods, Lassen’s, Mom’s Organic Market, King’s, DeCicco & Sons and online via Amazon, Thrive Market and One Stop Paleo Shop, Serenity Kids aims to eventually be everywhere baby food is sold.
Serenity Kids was created from couple Serenity and Joe’s desire for healthier food for their baby, Della. They created the savory meal blends with the essential nutrients that babies need to grow their brains and bodies. Filling a void among baby foods, the blends are the only high-fat low-sugar pouch option on the market, built to match the macronutrient contents of breastmilk. Ratios of protein, fat and carbohydrates are matched to the USDA’s recommendations for infants’ first foods.