- Express Checkout
- Express Checkout #55 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm
Express Checkout #55 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm
Commerce and CPG news from the week of 1/1/2024
Hello hello! Happy New Year!
Welcome to the first newsletter of 2024! So excited you’re here. After a lovely 2 weeks off I am back with full force to bring you the latest in the world of commerce!
January is looking packed already, if you’re in NYC for NRF hit me up! I’m co-hosting some events and going to a few. I’d love to grab coffee!!
2024 I will be conducting more interviews! Please enjoy my first one of the year with Terri Rockovich, co-founder of Jinx pet food!
Introduce more wellness into your 2024 routine with GNGR
Our first sponsor of 2024 is one that I've started to consistently keep in my fridge - GNGR Labs!
I first tried GNGR Labs shots at a food & beverage trade show, it saved me. After trying everything my stomach was shot, this revived me!
So what is GNGR Labs? GNGR Labs, a wellness company dedicated to supporting your immunity and digestion. They sell organic cold-pressed ginger shots, available in 5 delicious flavors. And they just introduced sparkling prebiotic drinks infused with 5 grams of prebiotic fiber and apple cider vinegar. DELICIOUS
You can purchase GNGR on Express Checkouts new marketplace (powered by Nishe retail)
I have a ton of events happening this year and you can find them all here, but I want to call out a few below:
🚨Austin, TX friends! 🚨
🏃 NYC Run Club 🏃
Every Wednesday morning, Lisa Popovici (Siena.ai) and I will be running from 8am - 9am - sign up here
(if you want to sponsor any event or send samples email me!!)
(If you’re reading this email in gmail it might get clipped! You can always view full issues here.)
🔥 Big News - 10 items or less 🔥
Invest in consumer! - Private equity firm Forward Consumer Partners has successfully closed its debut fund, Forward Fund I, at its $425 million hard cap. The fund aims to make majority equity investments in growing consumer brands. Forward also operates Fast Forward, a strategy that incubates consumer brands from inception. (source)
Again with the Suez Canal? - Maersk has suspended shipping through the Red Sea and Suez Canal "until further notice" due to security concerns following an attack on one of its vessels by Iranian-backed Houthi militants. (source)
Please note this is an active situation and might change by the time this issue goes out
Another one bites the dust - Online retailer Zulily, once valued at $9 billion, is shutting down due. Customers with pending orders will either receive a refund or have their orders fulfilled by January 22, 2024. The closure follows layoffs and competition from better-capitalized competitors like Temu, Shein, and Amazon. (source)
Dairy company parts ways - Danone has announced the sale of its Horizon Organic and Wallaby businesses in the U.S. to Platinum Equity, a U.S.-based investment firm. The premium organic dairy activity represented approximately 3% of Danone's global revenues and had a dilutive impact on its sales growth and operating margin. Danone will retain a minority stake. (source)
🗞️ News from the week (1/1/24 - 1/7/24)
Workers at a Costco store in Norfolk, Virginia, have voted to unionize with the Teamsters, marking the union's first organizing victory at the retailer in two decades. (source)
Fairway Market has launched a new fast home delivery service called "Fairway Now," powered by Instacart, allowing customers to access last-minute groceries. (source)
Rite Aid has been banned from using facial recognition technology for surveillance purposes for five years by the FTC. The FTC found that Rite Aid failed to implement reasonable procedures and prevent harm to consumers in its use of facial recognition technology, resulting in false accusations and harm to customers. (source)
Amazon has closed its last Fresh Pickup location in Seattle as part of its grocery business revamp. The pickup concept, launched in 2017, allowed Prime members to order groceries online and have them loaded into their cars at the pickup sites. (source)
🛒 CPG & Consumer Goods
Cabinet Health has expanded into select Target locations, offering refillable glass medicine bottles and compostable pouch refills to combat the single-use plastic crisis in healthcare. (source)
Clicks Technology has announced a new iPhone case called Clicks, which features a built-in keyboard on the bottom reminicent of a Blackberry. The case is available for $139 and will be available starting from February 1st. (source)
Flying Fish Brewing, New Jersey's largest craft brewery, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy after 27 years in business. The closure follows a failed attempt to sell the brewery last summer. (source)
Snoop Dogg is launching a new line of THC and CBD beverages called Do It Fluid. The drinks come in four flavors and are available in CBD-only versions and versions with CBD and hemp-derived Delta-9 THC. (source)
WK Kellogg has launched a new vegan cereal called Eat Your Mouth Off. The cereal is high in plant-based protein, contains no sugar, and has low net carbs. The brand aims to provide a an alternative option to Magic Spoon or Three Wishes. (source)
Beast Health (who sells my favorite blender on the market) has unveiled the Beast Mini, a sleek mini blender to its line up. It features a 600-watt motor and an innovative "Blend-Sip-Go" straw-cap system. (source)
Chameleon Organic Coffee has announced a licensing agreement with Girl Scouts of the USA to introduce a line of cold-brew coffee flavors inspired by Girl Scout cookies. (source)
Oishii, the brand known for their vertically farmed (and expensive) strawberries have released their next product, the Rubī Tomato. Grown in New Jersey, it is considered a "fruit tomato" and is always in season. (source)
Walmart and Unity have partnered to bring immersive commerce to games, virtual worlds, and apps. Walmart has already tested this concept in online worlds, allowing players to purchase real-life items related to the virtual experiences. (source)
🏭 Supply Chain
UPS plans to lay off an undisclosed number of employees and close a package sortation shift at its Centennial ground hub in Louisville, Kentucky, due to declines in package volume. (source)
Forward Air Corporation has announced the sale of its Final Mile business to Hub Group, Inc. for an estimated total cash consideration of $262 million. The Final Mile business generated approximately $289 million in revenue for the twelve months ended September 30, 2023. The transaction includes the transfer of approximately 45 locations and more than 640 employees to Hub Group, Inc. (source)
💸 Funding news
Springdale Ventures, a VC firm based in Austin, Texas, that has invested in brands like Goodles, Beatbox, Caraway, and Acid League has closed a $40 million fund (Fund II) to continue invest in early-stage consumer brands in the food, beverage, pet, health, and beauty sectors. (source)
REI's accelerator fund, REI Path Ahead Ventures, is investing in Renegade Running, a running retailer. (source)
Japanese brewing giant Asahi has announced its acquisition of Octopi Brewing, a contract brewer based in Wisconsin. (source)
Claim, a social network connecting friends through their favorite brands, has raised $4M in seed funding. The funding round was led by Sequoia Capital with participation from various investors. (source)
Shiseido Company has acquire DDG Skincare Holdings, the parent company of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. (source)
Private equity firm Sycamore Partners has completed its $1 billion acquisition of Chico's FAS, adding the Chico's, White House Black Market, and Soma brands to the KnitWell Group. With this addition, KnitWell now generates approximately $6 billion in annual sales. (source)
The Artisanal Spirits Company has acquired US-based independent bottler Single Cask Nation. Single Cask Nation has a global base of 10,000 whisky drinkers, with the US being its largest market. (Source)
SYSTM Foods, a functional beverage brand platform with brands like REBBL and Chameleon Coffee, has announced the acquisition of HUMM Kombucha. HUMM is known for its low and zero-sugar kombucha. (source)
Snacking company Mezcla has raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by Dream Ventures and Santatera Capital. (source)
one of my favorite protein bars on the market!!
🧐 Interesting reads
How Pop-Tarts Became A $1 Billion Breakfast Icon (YouTube - CNBC)
100 Years of Milk and Dairy Safety (YouTube - USDA)
What Makes a Good Vending Machine? (Taste Cooking)
What Gen Z Got for Christmas in 2023 (AfterSchool)
How Stanley Turned A 110-Year-Old Water Bottle Into A $750 Million Business (YouTube - CNBC Make It)
💡 Data, reports, and trends
😋 Brands and things I’ve tried this week
This week I got some peanut butter from the folks at One Trick Pony! Delicious simple ingredient peanut butter! You can actually pick them yup through my new Express Checkout marketplace here!!
And follow me on TikTok! I’m starting to create much more content 🙂 https://firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions, feedback, or stories I missed, let me know!
📰 Got news? Submit it here! 📰
If you’re looking to sponsor the newsletter please email me!! I can email send you a deck.
You can now find me on MentorPass! Book time to talk all things CPG, here!