‘The Next Chobani’? How Good Culture Is Claiming The Future.

+ Jesse Merrill, Good Culture


Ten years ago, few believed that an upstart brand could revolutionize the sleepy category of cottage cheese, and, by extension, dairy-based foods as a whole. Good Culture co-founder Jesse Merrill was part of that small cohort, and his steadfast belief that consumers want better-for-you and better tasting options in the dairy case defines his company, one some have described as “the next Chobani.”

Launched in 2015, Good Culture markets a variety of cultured dairy products, including its flagship line of certified organic, pasture-raised, stabilizer and additive-free cottage cheese, along with sour cream, cream cheese and milk. A certified B Corporation and partner of 1% for the Planet, Good Culture products are sold nationally at Whole Foods, Target, Ralphs, Walmart, Sprouts and Kroger.

In 2022, the company completed a $64 Million Series C funding round led by mission-driven private equity firm Manna Tree which also included investment from actress Kristen Bell. At the time, Good Culture was generating $70 million in annual retail sales and targeting $100 million in sales for the fiscal year.

In this episode, Jesse spoke about how Good Culture aligns mission and values with business fundamentals, why proof of concept and velocity are keys to its growth strategy, being maniacal about delivering on the products’ key attributes and how the best advice he ever received has benefited the company. 

In this Episode

0:43: Interview: Jesse Merrill, Co-Founder & CEO, Good Culture – Jesse spoke with Taste Radio editor Ray Latif amid Manna Tree’s Leadership Summit in Vail, Colorado and discussed his transition from the beverage industry into food, how he addressed early naysayers of Good Culture, holding ground on mission and values with retail partners and investors and why timing is critical when saying “yes” or “no.” He also explained why non-promotional “velocity is the number brand health metric,” why the company waited until it had established enough equity with its core business before innovating in other categories, how he views realistic versus ambitious goals and how both the worst and best advice he ever received impacted Good Culture’s development.

Also Mentioned

Good Culture, Annie’s