When CPG startup Brightland launched in 2018, it launched with just two products: two different varieties of olive oil. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include four different flavored olive oils, two different varieties of vinegar and this week, launched a line of honey. Brightland typically partners with other companies, and does limited-edition runs, in order to test out new products.
There's a new sought-after investor for tech startups that serves a lot of direct-to-consumer brands -- and it isn't a traditional private equity or venture capital fund. It's Shopify. That was made clear last week, when Shopify announced that it invested in Yotpo.
The home decor category saw a major boom during the pandemic, but has gone through ebbs and flows in recent months. To sustain their growth, young furniture startups are looking for more ways to keep their new and existing customers coming back for their future furniture needs.
As companies pop up to create digital tabletop games that more closely resemble their real-life counterparts, big-name board game makers like Hasbro and Asmodee are betting that their futures lie in finding ways to blend the digital and physical versions of their projects, too.
Workwear has long been dominated by big players, such as Dickies, Carhartt and Duluth. While other apparel categories have been taken over by digitally-native brands, workwear had remained stagnant until now. A new crop of DTC startups want to change that.
Following last year's chicken sandwich wars -- and a subsequent research and development period -- restaurants are embracing the plant-based versions of chicken. Last week, Impossible Foods released its version of meatless chicken nuggets to 150 restaurants and chains including Fuku, Red Rooster, Fatburger and Dog Haus. In July, Beyond Meat launched its alternative chicken tenders in 400 restaurants including Detroit Wing Company and Burger Patch. Here's why there's a mad-dash for fake chicken.
Over the past ten years drinkers stateside have slowly begun to embrace apéritifs, flocking to the aperol spritz in summers 2017 and 2018 or the negroni in April 2020. Now, aperitif brands are hoping to move from one-off buzzy cocktails into a more mature category resonance in the U.S., playing towards pandemic trends and expanding distribution models.
The weekly "drop" is quickly becoming a major release tactic among direct-to-consumer food brands. Take for instance, Last Crumb, a luxury cookie brand that launched in May and has a growing lottery-like waitlist of eager customers. The weekly release method, long used by streetwear and sneaker brands, is being applied to the food space.
Direct-to-consumer startups have now been grappling with manufacturing delays, increased prices of raw materials and astronomical costs for shipping containers for close to a year and a half now. And the challenges show no signs of subsiding.
As brands grapple with their physical retail strategy, some are finding opportunity in looking outside the traditional retail hubs. Fashion brand Faherty, for example, has embraced resort and vacation destinations for its new stores. This strategy is a departure from the company's previous store expansion approach, which focused on coastal cities.
Consumers embrace vaccine card holders as cities roll out proof-of-vaccination mandates. Etsy merchants and apparel startups are creating holders or repurposing products that can store paper cards safely and stylishly to meet sudden demand.
In its S-1 filing with the SEC, DTC footwear brand Allbirds unveiled its goal for a sustainable public equity offering,” or an “SPO." The document also unveiled major operating losses and a lack of profitability for the well-funded company.
In 2021, at-home gym brands have to work harder to court fitness consumers in an increasingly crowded space. Last week, for example, Peloton’s revenues decreased quarter-over-quarter for the first time in two years and the brand announced a 20% price cut on its bike. Peloton’s struggles aren’t fully endemic to the at-home fitness industry at large -- but competition in the space is still increasing.
For the past few years, Warby Parker has been cited as an example of the rare direct-to-consumer startup capable of turning a profit -- the company first noted in 2017 that it achieved profitability on an EBITDA basis. But when the company filed its S-1 last week, it revealed that the path to profitability remains bumpy -- and it served as a good proxy for the biggest challenges DTC brands face in 2021 in turning a profit.
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