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Steve Hughes on Long Term Change and the New Food Movement

Martín Caballero

Boulder, Colo.-based Sunrise Strategic Partners may have formed just this year, but co-founder and CEO Steve Hughes has been working in the natural and organic food and beverage industry for over three decades. As the chairman and CEO of Boulder Brands, Hughes helped develop brands like EVOL, Udi’s Gluten Free and Glutino from niche products into industry leaders attuned to consumers’ evolving dietary preferences. With Sunrise, Hughes is continuing his mission to build the next leaders of the new food movement by providing growth capital and business expertise to companies like Perky Jerky, Kodiak Cakes and PACT Organic.

In this video of his presentation at Project NOSH LA this week, Hughes charts how volume declines and loss of earnings experienced by “Big CPG” firms have left them at a crossroads, as projections predict that upwards of $50 Billion could shift away from those firms to smaller companies by 2020. As millennial consumers continue to drive demand for natural and better-for-you food products, Hughes explains how he sees exciting opportunities for forward-looking companies and investors to identify emerging brands that embrace those shifting tastes and either partner with, invest in or acquire them. In his own words: “I don’t want to miss the next five years, because they are going to be wild.”

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