The PGS Blog

Saying No is a Fundamental Skill for Founders

You might think saying 'no' is simply a luxury of an established business who has the privilege to turn down an opportunity that isn't absolutely dead on perfect. But you'd be wrong. Saying 'no' is one of the fundamental business skills never taught in school,

Why a Sales Plan is NOT a Strategy

The vast majority of CPG startups operate as B2B businesses. They don't interact with their consumers. They aren't curious about how they receive and use their products. As long as case volumes grow, they're happy. As long as their wholesale price can float operations and

Word-of-Mouth Marketing is Alive During the Pandemic

Guess what? A lot of the face-to-face storytelling about brands during this pandemic has moved onto Zoom. Virtual happy hours. Virtual meet-ups. Virtual hang-outs. Facebook Livestream groups. But we're still talking about brands we love. And premium CPG brands tend to get an unusual amount

The Problem With Growing Too Slowly

Although I caution against chasing unicorns, this is not meant to validate any brand's growth rate being in the single digits, YoY. This slow growth rate may be in line with the premium CPG sector overall, and it may be much faster than commodity brands

Why You Have to Transition from a B2B to a B2C Brand

The vast majority of consumer startups selling in retail get lulled into operating as a B2B company, even though they make products for the end consumer. This is because the initial data they manage concerns distributor case sales and retail account sales. They have no

The Risks of Raising A Lot of Money Too Early

Up until the pandemic, I saw lots of strange over-investment in emerging concepts in CPG. ZX ventures invested $1.5M in a brand new switchel brand as they began building investments in a non-alcoholic portfolio. $1.5M for a brand that has sold less than $500,000 is

Why Brokers Can Potentially Destroy Your Business

Brokers can open doors you cannot open on your preferred timeline. They can even get off-cycle meetings to happen. In both cases, intermediaries shine as access nodes where you couldn't make headway. In a world where large chains do annual resets, especially for the small

How Will the Online Grocery Surge Change Premium CPG?

The longer the pandemic lasts, the more time Instacart, Amazon, Kroger, and Walmart have had to hire up and improve service quality. In March and April, though, we witnessed a pretty horrendous advertisement for grocery home delivery. Waiting days for a slot. Lots of picking

Draw Consumers From Outside Your Category

It's a law of marketing seldom discussed, but first popularized by Byron Sharp many years ago. What's the gist? Well, the evidence shows that consumers with a robust set of brands they're content within a category are much harder to distract with a new brand

COVID-19 Acceleration of Stress-based CPG Consumption

Pandemic acceleration is occurring at the intersection between primitive nutrient cues AND premium cues of restraint. Did you know that about 30% of American adults have already gained more than 5lbs of weight since the pandemic began? That's what I just found out in a