The PGS Blog

You are in the Wrong Category With the Right Innovation

Actually, I don’t know if you are. But what if you are? Categories are cultural spaces full of meanings and experiential expectations. Cheddar cheese tastes like X. I tend to want it on Z, but not on W. And down the nuanced rabbit hole we

Why Are My Velocities So Unstable?

Many new CPG founders are concerned about the highly unstable, week-to-week velocities and month-month sell-in volumes for their product lines. The fear is heightened once you are inside a significant chain. I get it. But here’s the thing. This is completely normal. It’s like your

Covid Pandemic Supply Chain Lessons for Exponential Growth Brands

As Omicron peaks, CPG retail out-of stocks are at an all-time high. IRI calculates them at around 88% of full, which is approximately 7% below normal levels. In Food, the situation is worse, especially in shelf-stable, center store categories, where OOS are hovering around 84%

Liquid Death – Will It Keep Growing and How Far?

Those in the beverage category have been watching bottled water brand Liquid Death (LD) very closely, long before last week’s Series C announcement. LD came out of the gates quickly for a team with no prior (publicly known) beverage operating experience. If the average early-stage

Margins, Margins, Oh My

Your margin is calling. But which one? Gross? Net? Retailer? Distributor? This math is annoying, especially in routes-to-market reliant on 3P distribution. However, most new founders focus on their wholesale price and NOT on any of the ‘prices’ up the value chain to the shelf, where the consumer will

Industry Indifference to Others’ Incompetence is Your Big Risk

I’m one of the few CPG industry veterans willing to air the industry’s dirty laundry in public, so others without big industry networks don’t crash. And there is a lot of smelly laundry in a very loosely regulated industry, most of it operating in the

Fighting Gender Discrimination in Funding

Trigger warning: I’m not going to offer a comfortable or even politically correct solution in this post. I want to add real value to female founders, so they know how to counter misogynistic behavior or frighten off the true manipulators. So, I’m following a social

Skate Ramp Brands Build a B2C Culture Internally

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

Late Stage Tactics Kill Early-Stage Brands…Early

When you get a cold, you probably have a runny nose. Then you grab some super soft paper tissue from a box to wipe that runny nose (unless you’re like my uncivilized children). Most of us still call this soft, paper tissue - Kleenex. At

How Working with a Consultant is Like Working With A Therapist

The notepad in this photo, folks, is not for order-taking. It’s a listening tool. Make no mistake the therapist is driving the therapy, not you. This may be obvious to many of you. I have no idea. Perhaps this teacher-student dynamic is clearer when you’re hiring