Kris Jenner, other celebs look to disrupt the $3B rice market

By InnovationFOXBusiness

Kris Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham and Jillian Michaels are among the slew of celebrities who have invested their own capital in a new alternative rice company, hoping to disrupt the $3 billion market.

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RightRice announced Monday it has closed a $5.5 million minority investment led by Strand Equity with a string of celebrities and other notable industry veterans, including Impossible Foods COO David Lee, Restoration Hardware CEO Gary Friedman and Warby Parker co-founder Dave Gilboa.

The new rice, which is made from vegetable grains, was created by Popchips founder and former CEO Keith Belling.

"As you know I'm a big fan of snacking and rice, and after Popchips I thought there has to be a healthier rice out there," Belling told FOX Business.

When Belling couldn't find what he was looking for, he decided to create his own out of vegetables using lentils, chickpeas and peas.

He then called Strand Equity co-founder Seth Rodsky to help him recruit the right investors.

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"We were able to get Keith a cross-section of folks with expertise, whether it was an influencer or an entrepreneur or an accomplished CEO," Rodsky told FOX Business.

"I think this product has now been rounded out from an entertainment standpoint, entrepreuneurial standpoint and from a connectivity standpoint."

Neither RightRice nor Strand Equity would disclose how much each celebrity has invested in the company.

Belling added that RightRice is also one of the first brands to launch exclusively in collaboration with both Whole Foods Market and Amazon.

Over the years, Strand Equity has been very bullish in the better-for-you category, investing in other popular and profitable brands, including antioxidant-infused beverage company Bai, Hippeas (an organic chickpea puffs company), Banza (a chickpea pasta company) and VitaCoco (a coconut water company).

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According to ResearchandMarkets.com's data, the India packaged rice market stood at around $3.6 billion in 2017 and is projected to grow and reach $7 billion by 2023.