Vol. 127 - NO. 39

Blog Startup CPG

SINCE 2019

The Value of the
Startup CPG Pitch Program

Erin Fasano is the Managing Editor of the Startup CPG Spotlight. She is also a brand marketer and entrepreneur. Pitch II takes place virtually on Nov 18, 2020. 

What is Pitch?

Startup CPG’s Pitch Program is an opportunity for 15 young food & beverage brands to connect with early stage investors, media, and buyers, from both e-commerce marketplaces and brick-and-mortar retailers. A curated box is delivered to 100 members of the Pitch audience, who sample the products during each brand’s virtual pitch. Through a post-event survey, Pitch II will award over $100,000 worth of prizes, including a social media photo shoot from Zippy Pantry, slotting at the new Showfields Mission Market (powered by Hubba.com), and a go-to-market 6 month PR retainer from Avana Creative.

Pitch is put on by Startup CPG, a free community accelerator for young brands, along with the help of various partners all eager to support those committed to a better food system.

Pitch I Success

“Pitch was really impactful for my brand,” says Clara Paye, Founder and CEO of UNiTE Food. Initially intending to launch her brand at Natural Products Expo West, Paye was grateful to have the support of the Startup CPG community. She got “really helpful real-time feedback that helped me hone in on how the brand is received by industry leaders from both a product and branding perspective.” Plus, even though UNiTE Food didn’t win, they still earned a prize – placement in a SnackNation box, and then, SnackNation decided to do a podcast on the brand. “Pitch helped legitimize our brand and extend our reach,” Paye says.

Pat Schnettler, Founder and CEO of 12 Tides snacks agreed that Startup CPG Pitch “really helped get our message out there.” Plus, the data from the survey that the panelists took “provided valuable insights that we would have probably had to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get another way.” 12 Tides also won prizes through the program, including a consultation with Siddhi Operations, which was helpful in thinking about scaling. “The press coverage has been valuable as well,” said Schnettler, who’s brand was featured in Media Post, The Beet, The Spoon, and more as a result of participation in Startup CPG Pitch.

Lauren from Loca Foods, who took home first place in the first Pitch program, commented that “Winning was an incredible experience. I received so many generous prizes including a major data package, slotting with online retailers, and some incredible press coverage.”

What Brands Need to Know

Who attends?
Hundreds of industry folks, including our 100 featured tasters receiving the box, as well as many others excited to learn about the most promising young brands and show support.

What are the benefits of Pitch?

  • Getting distribution, media attention, investor connections, and prizes (100% of brands from Pitch I agree!)
  • Distribution: Dozens of buyers (e-commerce and retail). New Pitch II buyers include Kroger.com, Safeway Albertsons, and NGC
  • Investors: Top tier early stage food & bev VCs & angel investors (CircleUp, Powerplant, Selva, Touchdown Ventures, 25madison)
  • Media: Trade publications (FoodNavigator-USA, NOSH), consumer publications (Washington Post, Forbes), as well as content creators (@jasonwrobel, @arlaeats)

How do you apply for pitch?
Any Food & Beverage brand is welcome to apply via our website. After you register, shoot us over a sample so we can get to know your product. We only have room for fifteen brands in each Pitch box, but even if we don’t select you, we will still work tirelessly to connect all brands in our database with investors, buyers, and media (we’ve already done so and had lots of success!)

What are the criteria?
We are looking for products with the potential to change the food system. Category-busting, scalable, delicious, nutritious, and sustainable products. But we know consumers don’t always want to make the healthy choice, and we strongly believe in products that are substantial improvements over the current offerings. Specifically, we look for:

  • Taste
  • Nutritional components
  • Branding
  • Founder / Mission
  • Community participation (Slack, Mixers)

How do you support under-represented groups?
We are thrilled to report that Pitch II comprises 60% minority-owned, 85% female-owned brands. 92% are plant-based.

What’s the cost to participate?
Pitch is free (for both brands and the buyers/media/investors invited to attend). Startup CPG relies on incredible partners to put on the event like Hubba.com, who stepped up to perform the fulfillment of all of the boxes, and will also get boxes to many of their retail customers, which will help the brands get retail distribution. The Startup CPG volunteer team designs and executes the program, drawing on their passion for a better food system.

Check Out These Media Coverage Examples from Pitch I

The Beet: The Winners of this Startup Incubators Pitch Day Are All Plant-Based

MediaPost: Startup CPG Provides Virtual Attention to Small Brands

Pitch II Attendees:

Join us to cheer on the brands in Pitch II via Zoom on Nov 18, 2020, and join the Startup CPG Slack Community.

About Startup CPG: Startup CPG is a free accelerator for your small brand. We are a team of passionate people who love to build products that make our bodies happy and our world healthy. We are advocates for change and champions for your success. We are volunteers who want to see emerging brands succeed against larger household names. With backgrounds ranging from big CPG, big Ag, startups, non-profits, academia, biosciences, and more, our team provides a full 360 approach to helping brands grow.

About Hubba: Hubba is the first online marketplace that fuels retailers with access to the best independent American-made food and beverage brands. They’ve seen how traditional distributors and suppliers work, and are committed to building something better. They empower retailers to discover the best emerging brands that are guaranteed to sell through, validated using machine learning and hundreds of proprietary data points.

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