Why You Need to Build Awareness Ahead of Distribution

In the world of early-stage consumer brands, you are generally premium-priced vs. the Lay’s, Philadelphia, and Oreo in your category. Sometimes, you’re very premium-priced. Premium pricing will shut down almost all curiosity trials from the average American in a conventional supermarket if they’ve never heard

Don’t Get Pushed Into a Premature Exit

The primary reasons to exit early (early being Phase 2 or Phase 3) is that a) you are sick of operating the business and cannot find a suitable person to step in (or quickly enough OR b) you want an ‘entity’ to finance its growth

Saying ‘No’ is a Critical Skill- Learn it

You might think saying ‘no’ is simply a luxury of an established business that 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, especially in business

Only 20% of Walmart Shoppers Also Shop at Whole Foods Market

The 20% figure here is a cross-shopping percentage. Say what? Cross-shopping is a shopper marketing term that measures shopper-base overlap from the perspective of one retailer’s shopper base. So…the title means that only 20% of Walmart shoppers in the past 30 days have also purchased groceries from

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