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  • Express Checkout #60 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Express Checkout #60 - the latest in CPG, Retail, and eComm

Commerce and CPG news from the week of 2/5/24

Hello hello!

I have left Key West and am now hanging around in LA! Around until the 25th and would love to meet up, so hit me up!

Let’s talk sports ball. My favorite Super Bowl ad by far was Dunkin, I liked how fun Ben is clearly having ! But one I want to talk about was Poppi’s.

Their ad just introduced the brand to millions of new consumers for the first time. Along with a whole new category for many consumers!

We as an industry know the brand all too well, but I think there's a lot of consumer who still don't know.

Many "well known" and well loved brands to us, are not known to many consumers around the country. We have to remember that when we discuss trends, consumer desires, and what's working. And even when a brand is everywhere doesn't mean consumers see it.

My friend Andy had a take on Olipop vs Poppi that I thought was particularly interesting.

(If you’re reading this email in gmail it might get clipped! You can always view full issues here.)

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Former and current founders or aspiring start-up folks, you might like my good friend Zoe’s Substack on the ugly, harder, or often less discussed parts of running a consumer business!

She writes a weekly (free) newsletter called First Rodeo about her first lap as a founder— and what it’s like to strike out, get back up and move on. 🧲 You can check it out here!

  • Zoe’s writing is personal and approachable - reading her newsletter feels like catching up with a friend at a bar and commiserating over the early struggles of starting a business

🔥 Big News - 10 items or less 🔥

  • The CPG industry just lost a legend - Bob Moore, the infamous founder of Bob's Red Mill, has passed away at the age of 94. Moore's passion for healthy foods led him to create the company in 1978, which grew into a bustling national brand offering 200+ products in 70+ countries. He also established an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, allowing over 700 employees to own part of the company. Moore's legacy will live on through his brand and his contributions to the space. (source)

  • “Shop like a billionaire” 🙄 - Discount shopping app Temu is now allowing US and European sellers to sell on its marketplace, expanding beyond solely China-based merchants. The competition between Temu and Shein has intensified over the past year with both companies expanding their reach and engaging in fun lawsuits. (Source)

  • Together Tastes Better - Coka is launching a new permanent flavor, it’s been a while since it’s last one, called Coca-Cola Spiced, blending the traditional Coke flavor with raspberry and spiced flavors. The new flavor will be available in both full sugar and zero-sugar varieties in the US and Canada. (source)

🗞️ News from the week (2/5/24 - 2/11/24)

🛍 Retail

  • Target is considering launching a paid loyalty program, following in the footsteps of competitors like Amazon and Walmart. The program, internally known as "Project Trident," could include benefits such as incorporating services from Shipt, the grocery delivery business Target acquired in 2017. (source)

  • H&M has opened up a new store in NYC, offering a shop-in-shop featuring secondhand pieces. The store, located at 591 Broadway, showcases trend-driven womenswear and incorporates smart mirrors and RFID-enabled systems for improved service. (source)

  • Garnet Hill has opened its only full-price retail store at Legacy Place in Dedham, MA. (source)

  • Primark is expanding its presence in Maryland by leasing a 30,000-sq.-ft. store at Mall at Prince George's in Hyattsville, which was previously occupied by JCPenney. Primark currently has 24 stores across 8 states and is actively expanding its footprint in the US. (source)

  • IKEA has launched a new AI assistant on the OpenAI GPT Store, offering personalized furniture and decor suggestions. (source)

🛒 CPG & Consumer Goods

  • The filtered shower head wars of 2024 - Hair brand Act+Acre is expanding its scalp-care focus by launching a new product duo: a shower head and filters. (source)

  • Blueland, along with support from Beyond Plastics, is seeking a ban on polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) detergent pods and sheets in New York City. The "Pods are Plastic" bill, introduced by NYC Council Member James F. Gennaro, aims to eliminate micro and nanoplastics from the water supply. (source)

    • I love when brands put their money/effort where their mouth is!

  • Colgate-Palmolive is facing a lawsuit over alleged misleading recyclability claims on its toothpaste packaging. The lawsuit argues that the company knew most recycling facilities would not accept the tube and accuses Colgate of violating the U.S. FTC's Green Guidelines. A judge has denied Colgate's request to dismiss the lawsuit. (source)

  • Dove Men+Care has released its Whole Body Deo range, which includes sticks, sprays, and creams. (source)

    • Reminds me of the Offcourt line of products…similar color scheme too!

hmmm 🤨

  • Curology, a personalized skincare brand, has expanded into the hair care category with the launch of Hair FormulaRx. (source)

  • Macy's has introduced a new sleepwear private label brand called State of Day. (source)

  • New Balance has launched its own resale platform powered by Archive Resale, called "Reconsidered," allowing consumers to shop and sell pre-owned New Balance shoes. The growth of the second-hand market has led many brands to explore resale options and a lot are powered by Archive it seems. (source)

  • M.M.LaFleur has relaunched its "Ready to Run" program, which loans or gifts clothing to female political candidates In the previous launch, over 1,000 candidates applied, and the brand worked with 275 politicians, loaning or gifting around 1,000 garments. This year, the program offers additional benefits such as Zoom sessions with stylists and a curated selection of campaign-trail-appropriate items. (source)

  • Hershey plans to cut jobs and incur severance costs of up to $60 million as part of a multi-year initiative. The reduction in staffing comes as Hershey faces sales pressure due to consumer spending cutbacks and high prices caused by inflation. (source)

  • Vodka RTDs, so hot right now 🔥 -

    • Diageo is expanding its vodka-based RTDs offerings by launching a Ciroc RTD in the UK and expanding its Smirnoff RTD range in the US. (Source)

    • Absolut is entering the Ready-to-Serve category with its new Absolut Cocktails line. The line includes flavors like Vodka Mojito and Raspberry Lemonade. (source)

  • Algae Cooking Club, a new algae based cooking oil, has just launched, highlighting its high smoke point, omega-9 fatty acids, and reduced land and water usage compared to vegetable and olive oils. Kasra Saidi, who is also involved in Tache Pistachio milk, is the founder and CEO. Michelin-star chef Daniel Humm has endorsed the oil and plans to incorporate it into his renowned restaurant's menu. (source)

  • Powder, it’s all the rage. ROAR Organic has launched two new products: Cherry Limeade Plus Powder, a collaboration with Peloton Instructor Jess Sims, and Blackberry Lemonade, a new flavor in their ready-to-drink beverage line. (source)

  • Health-Ade, a fermented kombucha manufacturer, has introduced SunSip, a new functional beverage brand. SunSip's first product is a prebiotic soda that offers a healthier alternative to traditional soft drinks. (source)

  • Chef Lauryn Bodden's creation, S'NOODS, is launching across the US. They are a savory party snacks, pasta chips if you will. S'NOODS offers bold flavors like Cavatappi Carbonara, Rigatoni Basil Pomodoro, and Spicy Miso Ramen. (source)

  • Billie, a DTC razor brand, is expanding beyond shaving with the launch of 15 new body care products, including body wash, lotion, and deodorant. The products, available exclusively at Walmart. Billie, which was acquired by Edgewell in 2021, has quickly grown its presence in stores nationwide. (source)

💻️ eCommerce

  • Saks has partnered with luxury electric vehicle company Lucid to offer exclusive demo drive experiences of the Lucid Air at select Saks Fifth Avenue locations. Lucid now has a dedicated landing page on Saks.com and will be featured in Saks' digital channels. (source)

  • Wayfair has announced the availability of the Decorify app on Apple Vision Pro, allowing users to redesign their living spaces and experience a new way of shopping at home. (source)

    • I gotta do a breakdown of all the eCommerce capabilities of the Vision Pro. Or wait for Future Commerce to do it, hi Phill and Brian!

🏭 Supply Chain

  • Misfits Market has launched Fulfilled by Misfits (FBM), a B2B fulfillment solution for perishable brands. FBM utilizes Misfits Market's existing infrastructure and technology to offer storage, picking, packing, fulfillment, and nationwide delivery services. The solution is already working with brands such as Spot & Tango, Cometeer, and Little Spoon. (source)

  • UPS is reducing sorting shifts and making layoffs at facilities in Connecticut, Maryland, and Oregon in response to weak package delivery demand. UPS plans to cut approximately 12,000 jobs this year. (source)

  • Shein, a global fast fashion retailer, is expanding its US operations by opening a supply chain office in Bellevue, Washington. The office will serve as a hub for fulfillment and logistics. (source)

💸 Funding news

  • Nostra, a site conversion optimization company, has raised $6.3 million in seed funding led by Signal Peak Ventures and Sugar Capital, with participation from Crosscut Ventures, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince, and executives from major e-commerce companies. (source)

  • Acquisition after acquisition -

    • US-based BFY snacks company Creations Foods has acquired local peer Highkey in an undisclosed deal. Creations is owned by Canadian private-equity firm Rio Investment Partners. (source)

    • Brita has acquired smart water bottle startup Larq. The acquisition allows Brita to reenter the North American market under an existing brand name. Larq's line of smart water bottles. (source)

    • Dame has acquired Emojibator, a sexual wellness brand. Yes the name is right, they make emoji shaped toys. (source)

  • Private equity firm L Catterton, backed by LVMH, has entered into an agreement to launch an offer to acquire 36% of Tod's, an Italian luxury group, in order to delist it from the Milan Stock Exchange. If the delisting fails, a potential merger may be considered. (source)

  • Encore Consumer Capital has closed Encore Consumer Capital Fund IV, LP, raising $258 million. The San Francisco-based private equity investment firm focuses on the consumer products industry and targets companies with annual revenues between $10M and $150M. Encore Consumer Capital has raised over $900M in committed capital and has invested in over 38 companies in the sector. (source)

  • Odyssey, a mushroom-based functional energy beverage maker, has raised $6 million in an equity investment, bringing its total funding to $14 million. (source)

  • Starship Technologies, an autonomous delivery service, has raised $90 million in funding led by Plural and Iconical. The company's self-driving robots have made over six million deliveries. (source)

  • Saleor, an open-source headless e-commerce platform, has raised an $8 million seed-extension round led by Target Global and Zalando. (source)

  • 10Beauty, a Burlington-based beauty company, has raised $38 million in equity funding led by Shine Capital, including a $17M extension to their Series A. The machine allows for customizable manicures through a mobile app. (source)

  • Octup, an AI-driven ecommerce insights platform based in Tel Aviv, has raised $4 million in Pre-Seed funding led by Tal Ventures, with participation from Bullet Ventures, HCS Investors Group, and World Trade Ventures, as well as the founders of unicorn companies Trax and Rapyd. (source)

🧐 Interesting reads

💡 Data, reports, and trends

😋 Brands and things I’ve tried this week

I ran out of my normal deodorant ad picked up I think my new fave?? HiBar Fresh Rain + Cucumber Deodorant. I was lucky to meet the founder of HiBar at ExpoEast and learned that they are independent and do all their own manufacturing! Super cool.

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

Nate :)

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