Posts by Carol Ortenberg
It’s not just what you sell that makes or breaks a brand, but where you sell it. That’s the thesis behind venture firm Coefficient Capital, which last week announced it had raised $170 million for its first fund. Coefficient’s two founding partners include Franklin Isacson, formerly of Verlinvest and UBS, and technology adviser and investor Andrew Goletka
Over the past two weeks, a series of emergency acts have increased the availability of loans to small business owners during the coronavirus crisis. But some growing food and beverage companies are concerned that they will be left out of a new set of loans designed to lessen the impact of the coronavirus crisis because they are backed by investment funds.
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.
Even as the coronavirus has ground most of the U.S. economy to a near stop, food and beverage suppliers and retailers — deemed an essential business by state and federal governments — are running at full speed, and looking to expand.
As it becomes more unclear just how long Americans will have to embrace social distancing, two more food and beverage conferences have decided to change course. Both the The Sweets & Snacks Expo, which was scheduled May 18-21, as well as Specialty Coffee Expo, which was scheduled for April 24-26, have been cancelled
Under careful self-scrutiny due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, food producers, regardless of size, are having to rethink their production, supply chain and distribution efforts to keep up with increased demand from consumers and retailers while balancing the safety of their employees. Large producers, in particular, are having to change production paradigms while also answering the call to give back and assist employees and communities in need.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which was signed into law last week, was designed to provide an option for employees to take paid leave due coronavirus-related illness, quarantine or loss of childcare. But, while they are supportive of the bill, some food and beverage company CEOs are also concerned about keeping their manufacturing facilities staffed. Some say they are scrambling for other ways to help families cope while still staffing their production lines.
The meat snack set has seen plenty of new skin in the game over the past year as some consumers look to swap out chips and puffs with protein-heavy, low-carb alternatives like pork rinds. Now Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud, the co-founders of Harmless Harvest, want to bring seafood into the set with the debut of Goodfish, a line of snackable flash-fried salmon skins.
One brand’s dream of becoming the next Ben & Jerry’s has ended — or at least will be on hold. Yesterday gourmet ice cream chain and producer Ample Hills filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Eastern District of New York.
In an email to attendees late this afternoon, Natural Products Expo West producer New Hope announced it would cancel the natural products trade show in favor of focusing on its next large show, Expo East. New Hope has also launched an FAQ page to answer the most pressing questions it has received from the industry.