Modern Milkman expands with acquisition of US namesake

Simon Mellin and Seth Bahler

Modern Milkman, the Colne-based online grocery service, has expanded its US operations with the acquisition of the US-based Modern Milkman business, for an undisclosed sum.

The business, which was founded in 2018, has been backed by investors from Insight Partners, Praetura Ventures, ETF Partners and Avery Dennison and has grown revenue three-fold every year since 2019.

It is also focused on reducing food and packaging waste.

Like Modern Milkman in the UK, the US Modern Milkman delivers milk and soft drinks in reusable glass bottles, as well as eggs, baked goods and more, connecting thousands of households to local farmers and suppliers in their community.

The acquisition will retain the US operation’s current staff and continue to invest in growth, which currently equates to six per cent week-on-week as it aims to capture the East Coast. The US team plans to expand its presence in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and establish operations in New York and Rhode Island late this year.

The acquisition originally came around by chance when the two founders discovered one another during a domain search.

Simon Mellin, CEO and founder of Modern Milkman, said: “This US acquisition is a testament to our commitment to revolutionise the grocery industry and wipe out waste.

“Together with our new US team, we share the same name, purpose, and vision, and are now ready to make a substantial impact on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Seth Bahler, who founded the US Modern Milkman in 2018, said: “Joining forces with our UK namesake is a natural progression for us.

“Simon and I first connected with one another due to sharing the same name, but our complementary skillsets and shared commitment to fresh produce, convenience, local communities and sustainability are what make this partnership so powerful.”

Bahler created the US Modern Milkman after 10 years as CEO of Oakridge Dairy Farm, tapping into the demand for home delivery and high quality, locally grown food.

Just like Mellin’s Modern Milkman venture in the UK, the fifth-generation farmer grew the milkround from a small truck and a few customers into a network consisting of thousands of households.

The US milkround currently serves Massachusetts and Connecticut, but Mellin and Bahler have ambitious plans to tap into the vast scale opportunities this acquisition represents.

Mellin said: “Leveraging the robust platform we’ve built in the UK, we’re already making headway in expanding our eco-friendly milkround across the US, with plans to extend into New York very soon.”

Sixty million tonnes of food and 80 million tonnes of packaging are wasted in the US each year. But interest in eco-friendly habits continues to grow, with 78% of US consumers saying adopting a sustainable lifestyle is important to them.

Mellin added: “Convenience stores have commoditised food and wrapped it in wasteful packaging, sacrificing our planet and connection with local farmers.

“But with shared goals and a united team, we are perfectly positioned to satisfy the growing appetite for sustainability and make a real difference.

“Our immediate growth trajectory is a clear indication of the potential within the US market. By combining our resources and expertise, Modern Milkman is set to lead the way in sustainable grocery delivery, making a positive impact on the environment and communities on both sides of the ocean.”

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