The PGS Blog

Why Launching Your Way to Growth Doesn’t Work

I wrote a whitepaper years ago about how using innovation to grow just doesn’t work. I want to refine my case here. It’s a problem that affects platform brands built around an attribute that easily crosses categories and the grocery store itself.  Often, I’ve seen this

Retailers Need to Offer Trade Advantage to Minority Suppliers

Albertson’s recently announced a new program to boost the presence of minority suppliers on its shelves. It appears to be a combination of onboarding assistance via RangeMe AND access to below-market interest rate short-term working capital loans.  By offering cheap loans, primarily, is a retailer solving

Professionalization Is The Secret Sauce

In CPG, this means many things; nothing has to do specifically with being polite or inclusive (not that those are bad things).  Use annual planning - it keeps you more objective and focused on results than just chasing ‘opportunities.’Test your playbook like a scientist would -

Why Write a One-Page Strategic Plan?

I have met founders who seem terrified of planning. This is often in the beginning, in Phases 1 or 2. The business is all upside at this early point in the journey. And most entrepreneurs hate shutting down opportunities. They generally thrill on seizing them,

Wait. Vertically Farmed Lettuce at Walmart?

Plenty is a wildly funded ag-tech startup with a crudely estimated trailing revenue of ~$100M a year. Founded in August of 2014, it is coming up on eight years in the market, refining its offer and, most notably, its indoor, vertical, hydroponics technology. Salad greens

A Wild and Crazy Solution to Underfunded Female Startups

It’s no secret that female-operated startups receive far less funding than those founded by men. The apparent reason is how humans form high trust relationships, like giving millions of dollars to strangers. Investors do this with people who are most like them along the lines

Three Steps to Finding A Great Package Designer

Folks new to the industry often get shocked when they start uncovering how much some design firms will charge to re-do their package graphics, essentially. A considerable strategy fee (for what?). Some kind of brand/visual identity fee (OK). A whole lot per UPC/SKU (penalizing a

Exponential Growth Can’t Rely on B2B Sales

The vast majority of CPG startups operate as B2B businesses. They don’t interact with their consumers, even when they sell DTC (!). They aren’t even curious about how ordinary people receive and use their products. As long as case volume sales grow, they’re happy. As

The Fallacy of Huge Demand for Plant-based Meat Analogues

Billions have flowed into plant-based and cell-based meat ventures in recent years. The behavioral assumption they all make is that there is a very large addressable market of consumers, ordinary middle-class consumers, waiting for environmentally responsible meat substitutes to appear.  Meat alternatives originated in the 1970s

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