Mmmly launches Wefunder campaign to support better-for-you cookie retail expansion

By Ryan Daily

- Last updated on GMT

Image Credit: Mmmly
Image Credit: Mmmly

Related tags Gluten free products Gut health Cookies

Better-for-you cookie brand Mmmly is seeking capital through the crowdfunding platform Wefunder as it readies for a nationwide expansion, brand founder and CEO Nicholas Naclerio told FoodNavigator-USA.

Launched in 2021, Mmmly offers a gluten-free​ soft-baked cookie, including Dark Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and Banana Chocolate Chip varieties, that contain 7g of protein, 7g of probiotics, and 4g of added sugar through apple sugar. The brand initially launched as a direct-to-consumer offering and expanded into Whole Foods last year. The brand has also made approximately $1m in sales since its launch. 

Naclerio was inspired to start Mmmly after embracing a healthier lifestyle as an adult, which included moving away from the sugary and processed foods that he enjoyed as a child. Consumers today are looking for products that provide functional benefits, including enhanced protein and fiber content, while limiting the amount of sugar, Naclerio said.

“We're really leaning into good taste with good benefits. Lower sugar has been around for years, [and] it's not going anywhere. We use apple sugar. ... It's something that has been around and has stood the test of time, and protein and fiber are huge benefits for consumers.” 

'The days of building top line growth-oriented businesses are far and few between'

Last month, Naclerio launched a public Wefunder campaign​ that will support product innovation, including a new nut-free cookie recipe, and expansion into Sprouts, Thrive Market, Hungryroot, and Costco in 2024. The company raised $110,000 in the early bird pre-sale and is raising on a simple agreement for future equity (SAFE) at a $4.5M pre-money cap with a 5% discount.

Not only does the campaign provide needed funding, but the Wefunder also serves as a market campaign that has the effect of “rallying people around the brand,” he added.

“Our brand has experienced a tremendous amount of demand over the past couple of years. So, we have national launches lined up in accounts like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Thrive Market, [and] Hungryroot.”

As the funding environment changed last year, Mmmly needed to switch from a "very growth-oriented" mindset to focusing more on profitability, Naclerio said.

“The days of building top-line growth-oriented businesses are far and few between. I think they will come back again, but it's super important to build a business with great financial fundamentals from day one. So, what can you do that requires the least amount of capital needed to grow the business?”

He added, “If you are planning to build a $5-10m business, you are going to need funding, but make sure that when you are taking that funding there is a clear path to profitability in the first two years of running the business. And if that means not growing as quickly, do not grow as quickly. I think that will actually increase a founder’s likelihood of raising capital too, and that they're thinking about not just taking in money from investors to grow, ... but they're taking in money to grow a business that can actually deliver returns.”

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