Startup CPG’s Database of
Coronavirus – Foodservice brands are pivoting to CPG, and delays in buyer resets and category reviews mean CPG brands are pivoting online. Startup CPG has compiled a list of as many marketplaces as we can find, and will keep updating the list as we learn more.
Delayed CPG resets. Foodservice shutdown. What to do?
You were so close to launching your new product with a major retailer, and then came the bad news from the buyer – they are delaying all resets to focus on existing products and the increased volume because of the coronavirus lockdown. This is the story for a lot of small brands right now, and the big question is, how can I pivot and get this product to consumers? The primary strategy for brands is figuring out how to get online. Many will look to set up their own e-commerce platforms and use third party logistics providers for fulfillment, but that takes time, money and scale. A more immediate approach for many is plugging into existing platforms. There are a number of new ones cropping up, and we’ve compiled a few dozen of them (created & crowdsourced by Startup CPG members). One trend to note is that many use RangeMe, a universal product page which then can be reviewed by buyers in a central portal. There is a fee, as well as premium options to enhance visibility. Startup CPG has a discount for their premium service – use this link to access it.
CPG pivoting to DTC/E-commerce
Caroline Cotto, COO/co-founder of Renewal Mill’s advice to brands is “find more niche online platforms where your unique customers are shopping”. They’ve had to pivot from food service sales (mostly to office snack distributors) to Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) and e-commerce. “While many of the large online grocery and e-commerce retail sites have paused review of new products, we’ve found more traction by leaning into platforms that are hyper focused on our target customers like vegan-only platforms.”
Foodservice shifting to CPG
Rebellyous Foods remains focused on plant-based, ready to heat and serve solutions for food service once in-cafeteria service resumes, but Kristie Middleton, VP of Business Development, notes that “right now, food service sales are lagging, and there’s no indication of when things will turn around.” They are planning a soft launch in retail, starting with a limited-time offering of their Rebellyous Nuggets in the Seattle area.
Lauren Joyner at Loca Food had a summer launch strategy of her plant-based nacho dip focused on food service. Because of the slowdown, she’s now focused on an ecommerce launch through the company website and a few additional online retailers.
If you build it, will they come?
Christie Lee, founder of Nourishing Food Marketing, notes that brands should strongly consider investing to build their own DTC business. “Similar to brick-and-mortar, some larger online marketplaces (like Thrive) aren’t taking new products right now (the exception is Amazon SellerCentral). At the same time, digital customer acquisition costs have decrease dramatically.” If you’re a small business looking for help shifting online, check out Commerce4Good – a network of e-commerce experts offering 100% pro bono help.
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The database comprises as many DTC / E-commerce sites we could find that sell CPG (primarily food and beverage). It is a combination of ones that ship nationally and perform local deliveries. We don’t list sites like Instacart that rely on retail authorization. We will continue to update it via the central link. If you have platforms to add to the list, please submit them here