Ingredient Suppliers Show Love for Small Businesses
Some of CPG’s most prominent ingredient and flavor suppliers have created purchasing and consulting options for startup companies. Why? It’s not for a lack of business with large brands.
Instead, it’s due to a recognition that disruption in the food and beverage market is very much being driven by emerging brands — and suppliers want in. With growing competition in grocery, retailers are turning to emerging, natural and organic brands to provide points of differentiation, and according to a recent IAB study, most consumer categories are shifting to brands like startups who are centered on direct consumer relationships and agile supply chains that are flexible enough to serve consumer needs as they evolve.
Realizing this opportunity, global ingredient supplier Ingredion launched its emerging business department in December 2017. While the company has been working with smaller companies for years, it decided to form a dedicated team to provide entrepreneurs with specific resources like smaller purchase ordering and immediate consultant assistance, according to Evan Hyman, the director of Ingredion’s emerging business department.
The emerging business team’s first major initiative was the launch of a new e-commerce store. The goal, Hyman said, is to offer start-up companies a way to purchase small quantities of ingredients — a pallett’s worth or under — with a credit card. To further support emerging brands, the company also recently launched a partnership with The Hatchery Chicago, a food and beverage business incubator.
“These companies needed resources dedicated to them,” Hyman said. “We heard time and again that smaller companies were frustrated with the challenges associated with getting the attention of larger companies.”
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Daniel Karsevar, Founder & Chief Problem Solver at SOLUTIONTOPIA & is also a Mentor at Chobani Food Incubator, Food-X and FoodWorks and Advisor to many CPG brands. SOLUTIONTOPIA provides turn-key solutions, product development, and operational scaling solutions for food start-ups and national brands in the natural foods CPG space. Solutiontopia’s work has been acknowledged two years in a row with NEXTY Awards at Natural Products Expo East.