Posts by Brad Avery
While many established companies are bearing up under the storm thus far, small entrepreneurial brands, from early stage startups to regional players, who often have less distribution to start, are feeling the pain from retail disruptions. However, amidst lost supermarket sales or cancelled expansion plans, online is providing a possible bright spot for these brands.
As the COVID-19 pandemic forces businesses around the world to close for the foreseeable future, food and beverage brands have found many traditional routes to market in brick and mortar retail have suddenly shuttered. The global lockdown has made ecommerce (along with grocery and drug channels) more vital than ever in sustaining sales during an uncertain economic period.
On the manufacturing lines and in the office, the CPG industry is being forced to make adjustments. Over the past week, BevNET and NOSH edit staff reached out to brands and distributors across the food and beverage to hear about how they are grappling with the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic as it ripples across the country.
While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise worldwide, the food and beverage industry has been forced to swiftly adjust to the crisis. Just as consumers have changed their shopping habits by racing to grocery stores to stock up before indefinite periods of self-quarantine, many brands and entrepreneurs have fast begun tailoring their messaging to comment on the virus. Others are seizing the moment to promote products with immunity boosting properties, through social media posts, press releases and eblasts.
Prior to the postponement on Monday, as much as 60% of attendees had informed New Hope they planned to skip this week’s event. But many others — including early stage entrepreneurs — were surprised by New Hope’s late decision. For many, the news came after they had already arrived in Anaheim, and for some — such as Pillars Yogurt CEO Eric Bonin — mid-flight.
Premium pickle brand Grillo’s is entering the dip and beverage sets with a line of cold-pressed pickle vinegar drinks and new line of salsas launching next week at Natural Products Expo West 2020. Grillo’s founder Travis Grillo said the expansion into beverage is part of a larger effort to build a cross-category platform brand.
Utilizing the entire coconut to minimize its carbon footprint and maximize profitability has been a long-term goal for Harmless Harvest and its CEO Ben Mand, who joined the company in June 2018. At Winter Fancy Food Show 2020, held January 19-21 in San Francisco, the company unveiled an expanded food and beverage portfolio that delivers on that goal.
Plant-based beverage maker OWYN has raised $7.5 million in a financing round led by Powerplant Ventures, the company announced today. Powerplant co-founder and partner Mark Rampolla will join the brand’s board of directors.
Following a year plagued by out-of-stock issues and high shipping costs, plant-based food and beverage brand New Barn is scaling back retail distribution for its product portfolio to service only the West Coast as it focuses on integrating an omnichannel strategy in 2020.
Texas-based Dean Foods, the largest milk processor in the U.S., has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The dairy producer announced yesterday it will use the process to “protect and support” ongoing business operations and address debt and pension obligations.