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  • Express Checkout #53 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Express Checkout #53 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Commerce and CPG news from the week of 12/04/2023

Hello hello!

Happy Hanukkah! I can’t believe it’s already the end of the year. Just one more Express Checkout in 2023, wild!

2024 I have lots of plans, if you’re looking to sponsor or collaborate please reach out here or simply email me 🙂

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🔥 Big News - 10 items or less 🔥

  • We can only go down from here - White Claw has done the unthinkable…. they launched White Claw 0% Alcohol, a non-alcoholic drink that tastes and feels like the real deal 🙄. Yes, you heard that right, a non-alcoholic drink that tastes and feels just like an alcoholic one. Oh, and did I mention it's blended with electrolytes? Because it is. It will be rolled out in the U.S. on January 1, 2024. (source)

    • I really cannot believe this is real. A waste of aluminum!

  • CEO out at Nuggs - The fake meat industry is experiencing lots of difficulties, with numerous startup brands failing and supermarket buyers decreasing shelf space. In the latest blow to the industry, Ben Pasternak, the CEO of Nuggs, has departed from the company. Under mounting pressure from investors, the struggling industry is witnessing some startups shifting away from fake meat products or ceasing operations. (source)

  • Let’s get physical - IKEA is launching the DAJLIEN home training collection, a limited collection of 19 versatile products designed for at home fitness. The DAJLIEN collection includes exercise equipment, storage solutions, recovery and stress relief products, and wearable items. The global launch is scheduled for January 2024. (source)

  • Hello Buyout - Hildred Capital Management is set to acquire bankrupt baby brand Hello Bello for $65 million after no other offers surpassed their opening bid. Hello Bello, known for sustainable diapers, was launched in 2019 by Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard. (source)

🗞️ News from the week (12/04/23 - 12/10/23)

🛍 Retail

  • Claire's announced its expansion into Mexico by opening a new flagship store in Mexico City. They partnered with Exalta, a brand scaler, to bring the brand to the local market. (source)

  • Buc-ee's is set to open a new location in Johnstown, Colorado in early 2024. The store will be the chain's farthest west location and is expected to employ about 400 people. The site will have 74,000 square feet…my god (source)

  • Swarovski opens the largest-ever store on NYC Fifth Avenue. (source)

  • Kroger Health and Soda Health have launched a Smart Benefits program to improve health and nutrition security. The program offers personalized benefits for food, health products, pharmacy, and nutrition services, empowering individuals to make healthier choices. (source)

  • Meijer will open Fairfax Market in Cleveland in Jan 2024. This smaller format store is part of a neighborhood revitalization project and aims to address food insecurity, support economic development, and provide a new grocery shopping destination. (source)

🛒 CPG & Consumer Goods

  • Manscaped, a men's grooming brand, has launched in Tesco UK stores after a successful debut in Tesco Ireland. (source)

  • DedCool has launched a new fragrance called Sunlit Blooms exclusively at Sephora. (source)

  • ThirdLove, the women's lifestyle brand known for its inclusive sizing and elevated essentials, has launched its first-ever Swimwear collection. (source)

  • LVMH has signed a deal to sell a majority stake in the parent company of its cruise retail business to a group of investors led by Jim Gissy. LVMH will remain a minority shareholder in the new entity, which will expand from cruise ships to vacation retail spots on land. (source)

  • In the best collab ever, Glossier and Starface have collaborated on a collection of pimple patches. The collaboration includes Glossier's original sticker sheets and Starface's hydrocolloid formula. (source)

Source: Glossier

  • Walmart has launched an eyewear brand made from traceable recycled materials, in line with their goal of becoming a regenerative company. (source)

  • Gopuff has launched a new line of cold-pressed juices in collaboration with Pure Green called Gopuff x Pure Green Refreshers. (source)

  • Catalina Crunch has launched their first chocolate bar products. They are gluten-free, keto-friendly, and have only 2 grams of sugar and 3 grams of net carbs per bar. (source)

  • VUUM Technologies has launched a carbonated plant-protein energy drink called VUUM. The drink has 10g of plant-based protein, natural caffeine, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. (source)

    • I tried this about a year ago and was really impressed!

💻️ eCommerce

  • Mastercard has launched a new AI-powered shopping tool called Shopping Muse, which provides personalized product recommendations based on users' colloquial language and context. The technology, developed by Dynamic Yield, can be applied to other categories beyond fashion, such as furniture and grocery. (source)

  • Amazon is ending its integration with Venmo starting January 10th. The integration, which began in October 2022, is coming to an end. This move has caused a slide in PayPal shares. (source)

  • Pietra is introducing a new feature that allows shop brands to access 50+ dashboards for free. (Source)

🏭 Supply Chain

  • FedEx Ground has increased its diesel fuel surcharge by 100 basis points to 16%, surpassing UPS. (source)

💸 Funding news

  • Syrup, a provider of AI-powered planning and inventory optimization solutions, has raised $17.5 million in funding. Syrup's platform simplifies inventory management and is used by brands like Faherty, Desigual, and Reformation. (source)

  • Trackstar, a NYC-based provider of an API for warehouse management systems, has raised $2.6 million in Seed funding led by TMV. Trackstar offers a single API that normalizes data and reduces development time for companies in the logistics industry. (source)

  • Supply chain and e-commerce enablement startup Omniful has emerged from stealth with $5.85 million in seed funding. The UAE- and KSA-based startup offers systems for ordering, warehouse management, and transport management, enabling merchants to tap hyperlocal and omnichannel commerce. (source)

  • Four businesses from Amyris' consumer brand portfolio have been auctioned off, including Biossance for $20 million, MenoLabs for $3 million, Pipette for $1.75 million, and 4U By Tia for $600,000. The highest bidders were THG Beauty, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, HRB Brands, and Scent Theory Products, respectively. Other brands remaining for sale include Stripes, JVN, and Rose Inc. (source)

  • Shiseido has formed a new venture fund called LIFT Ventures which will focus on novel technologies, high-growth brands, and new business models. Shiseido has also announced its first investments in Phi Therapeutics and Patrick Kidd Holdings. (source)

  • sipMARGS, an RTD Margarita company, has raised $2 million in funding led by Lab Capital Advisors. (source)

  • The USDA has awarded Ameris Bank a $25 million loan guarantee for Liberation Labs' biomanufacturing facility in Richmond. The facility will produce bio-based proteins and other ingredients for CPG brands and industrial manufacturers. Commercial production is expected to begin by the end of the year. (source)

  • L'Oréal has acquired Lactobio, a Danish probiotic and microbiome research company. (Source)

  • Victoria Prew has raised $10 million in funding for her rental platform Hurr, with participation from venture capital firm Praetura Ventures and existing investors. Hurr is a community-led peer-to-peer marketplace. (source)

🧐 Interesting reads

💡 Data, reports, and trends

😋 Brands and things I’ve tried this week

This week the best-ever snack collaboration dropped, Muddy Bites x Girl Scouts! Their thin mints collab is freaking delicious.

Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions, feedback, or stories I missed, let me know!

Nate :)

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