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🍏 Investing in the Future of Food

The Consumer VC

Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

Host: Mike Gelb
Guests: Greer Tessler & Cara Kaufman | Founders | Simple Food Ventures
Category: 🍏 Sustainable Food

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[4:15] CK: “Our mission is to just create more access to healthy foods and products. And we're doing that by driving scale. So making sure that creating scale [is] bringing price points down and having those products be available at every neighborhood grocery store versus being targeted more towards a Whole Foods or an Erewhon type shopper.”

[6:08] GT: “[The] new shopper […] is going to be the Gen Z shopper. They care about what's in the product, they also care about what that product is doing to the environment. And so the way that we invest is looking for products that have sustainability as a huge aspect, to either the ingredient or packaging, but also that it's clean, and it's good for the body. It [has to be] functional in some aspect.”

[6:59] CK: “The fact that Oreos and Corona and Guinness are coming out with these gluten free items, [shows that] these mass market companies are shifting towards this better for you space. And so if the big guys are doing it, […] there's going to be a lot more integrations [and] acquisitions.”

[7:36] GT: “Even though you'll see a shelf consumed mostly by the larger players, the Cokes, the Pepsis […] of the world, maybe 75% of the shelf is controlled by that, the 15% is made up by maybe 30 other brands. So these smaller players are really popping up and trying to grow a presence there. It's difficult because shelving fees are really, really expensive. And the grocery beast can be pretty intimidating, which is typically why these healthy brands wait a little while before they actually go down that path. But for brands to really survive, they need the right connections and they need a true differentiator. And that's really what we look for. But the other thing you'll see on the shelves now too is in addition to being gluten free, or organic, or low calorie, […] you're also going to have the carbon footprint of the brands look labeled on the boxes, because grocers are looking at those brands as as an important aspect to what they're offering their customers.”

[11:38] GT: “What makes us special is that we actually pressure test our investments before we make them. So the way it works is that we get introduced to a company, […] we have an initial conversation, we love to hear brand stories [..] . And after that conversation, if we're interested, we move forward, we try samples. And then we dive into our financial diligence. After that, which is typically around three weeks, we actually make an introduction to a retail partner that we have […]. And we introduce them to the national category director for whichever the category is, see how that meeting goes talk, set up the introduction, understand from the category directors perspective if they see potential grocery life for the company. And then if they do, we move forward with an investment and also starting to facilitate a pilot launch in one of the divisions or nationally depending on the opportunity. And then in addition to that, we actually build in incentive equity into all of our deals. So we write a check, but then in addition to the check, we get an additional percentage of equity for opening up a certain number of doors for our companies and helping to advise them in their growth strategy along the way through grocery.”

[19:49] GT: “[Better for you] starts with is it better for the body, which leads to is it better for the environment. If we're not our healthiest selves, putting our best foot forward, then we're not able to do that for […] everything else.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 36 min | 🗓️ 02/01/2022
✅ Time saved: 34 min

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