GOODLES – a better-for-you noodle brand celebrated for its modern line of delicious and nutrient-packed boxed mac and cheese and pasta – recently announced a $13 million Series A funding round led by L Catterton.
From a launch in late 2021, GOODLES challenged category thinking, defying the stereotype that mac and cheese is only for kids and instead has introduced a line of products boasting premium nutrients, delicious taste, and a daring range of sophisticated flavors.
Starting with four mac and cheese flavors at launch, which sold out within two weeks, GOODLES experienced a remarkable 33X growth in 2022 and is on track to triple its sales this year. And the brand successfully sold seven billion noodles, introduced a total of 12 SKUs and entered a second category, pasta, since its inception.
GOODLES landed its first retail shelf placement in April of 2022 – but 16 months later, GOODLES has over 35,000 points of retail distribution nationwide. And as part of their mission to Make, Be and Do Gooder, GOODLES partnered with leading charitable organizations in the fight against food insecurity, resulting in the donation of over 350,000 servings so far.
With the premium nutrition and sophisticated and creative flavors, GOODLES is not just winning market share, it’s growing the category, making mac cool again with new brand and health-conscious audiences. And at one national mass retailer, GOODLES is delivering the highest revenue per SKU in the category for its format after just one year. The brand’s following is evidenced by expressions of enthusiasm: Halloween costumes inspired by flavors, user-generated advertisements, brand tattoos, wedding invitations, and even a bulk order from a noteworthy A-list admirer for a baby shower.
With the new Series A funding round, GOODLES is bolstering its executive team by appointing three new C-Suite executives and increasing its U.S. production capacity to meet the surging consumer demand for their products.
GOODLES was founded by CEO Jen Zeszut, a seasoned 4-time CEO, and Paul Earle, a branding professor, and serial entrepreneur who serves as a Board Director. The Founding Team also includes Chief Product Officer Molly Michet, a veteran Food Scientist who specializes in developing and commercializing innovative products from concept to shelf, working with companies like Plum Organics and Clif Bar & Company, Chief Impact Officer Deb Luster, former President of Annie’s, and Founding Partner Gal Gadot, an award-winning actress, producer, and philanthropist.
As the company enters its next growth phase, it is aiming to enhance its leadership team by onboarding experienced executives from the consumer brand and food industry. This strategic move intends to scale operations, meet rising demand, drive sales growth, and firmly establish GOODLES as a household name. Greg Peterson – the fourth employee of GOODLES and its Chief Operations Officer with over 30 years of experience in CPG at Plum Organics, Nutiva and Cerebelly – is joined by three new appointments to the organization’s C-suite, along with one new board member.
Stacie Hajduk assumes the role of Chief Marketing Officer, drawing from her 25-year career with prominent consumer brands as well as food startups including Plum Organics, Bonafide Provisions, and Cerebelly. And Nathan Lord joins as Chief Financial Officer, leveraging his expertise from his prior role as CFO at Kodiak Cakes. John Casey is appointed Senior Vice President of Sales, with a successful track record scaling sales for rapidly growing food brands such as Chobani, Altoids, and Barnana. Entrepreneur Eric Ryan, Co-Founder of Method, Olly and Welly is also appointed to the GOODLES Board of Directors. These appointments strengthen GOODLES’ commitment to strategic expansion and operational excellence, positioning the company for ongoing success in the dynamic consumer brand and food industry landscape.
L Catterton led the funding round and was joined by existing institutional investors, including Springdale, Third Craft Partners, Willow Growth, Alumni Ventures, GingerBread Capital, IMG-Endeavor, Cosmic VC, and Electric Feel Ventures. And the strategic investors encompass the entire GOODLES management team, including actress and founding partner Gal Gadot, as well as notable athletes, celebrities, and industry veterans. These include Klay Thompson, Khris Middleton, Domantas Sabonis, DK Metcalf, Weston McKennie, Sergio Garcia, Aaron Gordon, Marcus Smart, David Grutman, Ilana Muhlstein, Marissa Hermer, Matt Rutler, Christina Aguilera, Mau y Ricky, and The Montaners.
Evan Einstein – a Principal in L Catterton’s Growth Fund – will join the brand’s Board of Directors as part of this funding round.
“We can’t outspend our deep-pocketed, big-brand competition. We have to be more authentic and more unexpected and go places they simply cannot. We are excited about this partnership with L Catterton – the best-of-the-best when it comes to scaling consumer brands. The influx of capital to keep up with demand, coupled with the ability of our extraordinarily creative and results-oriented team to produce unconventional and joyful executions, positions us perfectly for continued success. We’re here to achieve legendary business results by creating a legendary product and brand, and we are growing faster and more efficiently than many of our food and beverage counterparts because of it. It’s a testament to the power of weird!”
– Jen Zeszut, Co-Founder and CEO of GOODLES
“The growth we’ve experienced is a testament to our loyal fans and consumers. I would never have imagined that my favorite meal as a child – mac and cheese – would become a business venture of my own. I am grateful that I can contribute to bringing joy to people’s dining room tables.”
– Gal Gadot, Founding Partner of GOODLES
“GOODLES is reimagining the category by delivering innovative, high-quality products that are just as delicious as they are nutritious. With its growing portfolio of unique flavors, the brand has quickly captivated consumers of all ages. We are thrilled to be leading the Company’s Series A raise and look forward to working with Jen and the entire GOODLES team to ensure consumers everywhere get to share in the joy that GOODLES brings to the table.”
– Jon Owsley, Co-Managing Partner of L Catterton’s Growth Fund
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