The PGS Blog

Why You Should Consider Normal Bank Loans

By the time private equity is ready to invest in you (>$10M trailing), you should already have an intermediate, if not veteran, understanding of CPG finance, route-to-market options, etc. You probably are already competent enough to persist. You just need to take the team’s discipline

Time is Your Most Abundant Resource, So Use It

It’s not uncommon for new consumer brands in retail to get caught up in a B2B mindset where founders unwittingly outsource sales strategy to brokers. Then, they’re basically managing the package graphics supply chain and a co-manufacturer. This situation describes at least ¾ of the businesses

The Secret to Startup Happiness? A Plan. Have One.

Startups are supposed to be scrappy, opportunistic, and always hustling. Their agility is their superpower, right? Who has time for planning anything more than the supply chain? Why bother setting a comprehensive strategy as long as we're growing? As long as customers keep pouring in?

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 Power of Focus

As you move farther up the Ramp, the risk of losing focus grows. Why? Well, now you have the cash to entertain all manner of distractions you quickly ignored early on: adding lots of new UPCs, extending into new categories, paid marketing in dozens of forms, national

Make Sure Your Topline is NOT a House of Cards

Getting seduced by your own success is a thing. Whether it came right away or after years of struggle, it doesn’t matter. If you simply look at wholesale case volume growth, you may be in for a rude surprise in 6-9 months.   You may find your growth

The Demise of Freshly And What We Should Learn From It

[image courtesy of the Food Institute]. It came fast—the mass layoffs and, a month later, the wind-down. I'm talking about Freshly, one of the wunderkinds of the now-troubled DTC sector. Here's a teaser based on my piece in the Food Institute.  Freshly tried to command a premium

Knowing When To Shut Down

Most early-stage consumer brand P&Ls exist on the knife edge of survival. Most are losing money until a certain point up the Ramp. In my most recent episode of Startup Confidential, I share thoughts on a dark topic: knowing when to shut down. I don't know

What Will Happen to Premium Food/Beverage in 2023?

When I look at the macros, I am pretty bullish on premium food and beverage. But I want to qualify that. The sector will continue to grow. But the sector's been decelerating, just so some of you are aware. It's been decelerating for the last

Why You Need a Strategic Review – Not a Re-Brand

When early-stage businesses struggle in the premium end of consumer-packaged goods, a shocking number of founders and operators leap to the conclusion that they need a “brand refresh” or a “re-brand.” Look, branding agencies are numerous, and they network heavily at Expo West. They sponsor