Your Food Business Needs Multiple Strategies

In starting and supporting a growing food business, strategy should inform every action the entrepreneur takes. Business strategy, at a high level, is informed by the smaller strategies of the different elements of the business model. And, the strategy governs the actions taken by food entrepreneurs to meet their business goals. This doesn’t mean that food entrepreneurs need long or rigid strategic plans. But, entrepreneurs need to define and put constraints on their actions so that they focus on what is important in growing their business at that time.

Food brand development needs to be strategic so that entrepreneurs only speak to and “activate” (i.e. get sales from) their target customers. Food companies’ sales and marketing efforts need a strategy, including a channel strategy and a go-to-market strategy, so that they target the right geographic areas with the right channel partners at the right time with the right promotional activities. The business’ products need category strategies to stand out in stores against the competition at the right price points so that people actually buy the product. Fundraising and financial planning efforts need strategic focus so that the entrepreneurs adequately capitalize the business to support the other parts of the strategy. Without clearly defined strategies for success that leverage their defensibly unique strengths and current market opportunities, entrepreneurs won’t know how to prioritize their activities.

On our podcast this week, Frank Jimenez of Evolve Brands talks about how strategy informs everything they do. Since the snack category is crowded, the Evolve Brands team has focused their efforts on sales and marketing to build a strong distribution footprint of around 2,500 independent, natural and co-op grocery stores. This channel strategy that focuses on smaller chains, independents and natural grocers is where they have found they can get the most relevant customer feedback and other data to support future business development. To support their strategy, the Evolve team approaches retailers with a fully loaded promotional calendar with sales targets, proposed spending and tactical descriptions supported by data to help make the case for why partnering with Evolve will be successful.

Good strategies are ones that reflect current relationships with customers/partners and current market realities, and thus, can shift as those things shift. Without a well-documented strategy, even well-meaning food entrepreneurs can get distracted or fail to execute on their business’ core needs and goals.


And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…

Consultant With TabletBusiness Model Insights

Raising CapitalRaising Capital

National Wholesale Brands

CPG/National Brands

  • Extend the Story Through Packaging, Technology (Project Nosh) – “Companies now have the opportunity to use new packaging technologies — such as QR codes, nearfield communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), bluetooth, and augmented reality (AR) — to create a deeper relationship with consumers. While it’s true that, with only fractions of a second available in a store, engaging packaging is the best way that brands can connect with a consumer, once in their homes, these technologies can be used in building a brand story, sharing specific product information, and offering promotions or discounts.”
  • Proven strategies to forge deep connections with consumers (New Hope Network)
  • This Is What It Takes to Become a Category Leader (Taste Radio Podcast)

Grocery Store Produce Section

Market Trends

Regenerative AgricultureFarming and AgTech

Mergers And AcquisitionsDeals/M&A

  • Grocery M&A increased 73% last year (GroceryDive) – “There were 527 M&A deals in the food space in 2018, which is an 11% decrease from the record number seen in 2017. The surge in supermarket M&A is a notable pickup in activity as industry pressures — from digital transformation to the continued rise of alternative formats — continue to weigh on chains. From smaller mergers to major acquisitions, the grocery industry kept busy last year as competition and margins drove success and failure among a number of companies.”
  • Nutrition Capital Network Deal Download: March 2019 (New Hope Network)
  • With a Lack of Investors, PieShell To Close (Project Nosh)

EventsIndustry Events

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