E-commerce Trends Shifting in Favor of Companies in the Food and Beverage Industry
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New York, NY – March 17, 2021 – Restrictions across the world opened up opportunities for e-commerce food companies to sell their products to an expanding consumer base with most e-commerce brands seeing an increase in sales as consumers shift to shopping for groceries and food items online. Shopping in-store became inconvenient and a health risk, compelling more customers to turn to grocery delivery, takeout delivery, and food subscription services. The consumer trend of buying food, beverages, and related products online is projected to continue, offering a new market for companies. Food and beverage companies such as Else Nutrition (TSXV:BABY) (OTCQX:BABYF), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER), and Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) are seeing the benefit of the booming food and beverage sector and are positioning themselves to take advantage of the arising opportunities.
Else Nutrition Forms Partnerships to Distribute Its Plant-Based Nutrition Products in the US
Else Nutrition (TSXV:BABY) (OTCQX:BABYF) is an Israeli plant-based food and nutrition company that produces clean plant-based foods for infants, toddlers, children, and adults. Else Nutrition focuses on innovative plant-based nutritional products, including its plant-based non-soy alternative to dairy-based formula, and won the 2017 Best Health and Diet Solutions award in Milan at the Global Food Innovation Summit. The company, which also sells its products on Amazon, was named as a #1 top seller in the baby and toddler formula new releases category.
Else Nutrition has been working around the clock to ensure that its products are available to as many consumers as possible, successfully expanding its distribution reach across North America and beyond with multiple agreements and partnerships. The company just signed an exciting agreement with United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), which will see Else’s plant-based Complete Nutrition for toddlers distributed to over 30,000 retail outlets across the US.
If 30,000 rings a bell, that’s because Else Nutrition made a previous key partnership with KeHE Distributors, which covers another 30,000 potential doors across the US. November 2020 marked Else’s first US shipment via the KeHE partnership, and in January, Else announced that it had been selected as part of KeHE’s Elevate Distribution Program, which will help to maximize Else’s product growth in the US retail market.
Else Nutrition announced an agreement with Thrive Market, a US-based online retailer that offers wellness, nutrition, and better-for-you products. Thrive Market has more than 500,000 members, meaning that the agreement provides Else an important gateway into the US natural foods market. Else Nutrition products became available on Thrive Market in February 2021.
“We are excited to form a partnership with Thrive Market as it further advances [our] E-commerce strategy,” said Hamutal Yitzhak, CEO and Co-founder of Else Nutrition. “Thrive Market is a wonderful fit for our brand as we share the common values of expanding healthy living, through accessible whole food nutrition while taking care of our planet.”
But it doesn’t end in the US. The company recently signed a distribution agreement with iHerb Inc., a leading US-based international nutrition and wellness e-retailer. The agreement opens a massive gateway to global sales for Else Nutrition, allowing it to offer its products in 180 international markets beyond the US to parents looking for healthy plant-based nutrition alternatives for children.
“Partnering with iHerb is an exciting development of multiple levels,” said CEO Hamutal Yitzhak. “In addition to our mutual commitment to support a healthier more sustainable planet, iHerb immediately enables Else to expand our product offering globally to hundreds of new countries and markets including Canada and Europe.”
Beyond the expansion of e-commerce through its many distribution partnerships, Else Nutrition is expanding its IP as well. Else Nutrition applied for and was granted a Canadian patent that covers its formulation for use in infant/toddler products. The company already has a strong global patent portfolio for its whole food, plant-based formulation and intends to extend into other major locations and market segments like the US, China, Europe, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, India, and many others.
Commenting about the granting of the patent, Else Nutrition’s CEO Hamutal Yitzhak stated, “The growth of our intellectual property portfolio in the Canadian market is timely as we get set to expand our North American presence.”
E-commerce Giants Gaining Big from the Health Crisis Disruption
Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) rose to become the largest US grocer, with grocery shopping accounting for 56% of its revenue, passing the e-commerce giant Amazon. Walmart recently scrapped the $35 order requirement for its express delivery service, to attract an even larger share of e-commerce shoppers. The company also partnered with Beyond Meat, expanding the partnership that allows Walmart to distribute Beyond Meat’s alternative meat products across more Walmart stores. The Chief Growth Officer of Beyond Meat, Chuck Muth, said about the partnership, “We are thrilled by the continued growth with Walmart and the opportunity to offer Walmart customers increased accessibility to a larger selection of our delicious and better-for-you plant-based products.”
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) opened its first brick and mortar grocery store in August 2020 and has since then opened more grocery outlets under its Amazon Fresh brand, which also offers same-day deliveries and pickup for Prime members. Amazon.com also has the goal to expand to 2,000 stores across the US, including those of Whole Foods. In its efforts towards this goal, Amazon.com recently opened a third Chicagoland Amazon Fresh store, making this the third store in Illinois.
In 2020, Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE:UBER) expanded its food delivery service through Uber Eats. The company earlier in February 2021 announced an agreement between Uber Technologies Inc. and Drizly, a leading alcohol marketplace in the US. In the agreement, Uber Technologies will acquire Drizly for about $1.1 billion, after which the company will become a subsidiary of Uber Technologies.
After breaking into the top-ten e-commerce list by sales, Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) is taking steps to maintain its position as a top e-commerce giant in the US. The company recently announced an expanded partnership with 80 Acres Farms to reach more shoppers online and in-store. Commenting about the partnership, Dan De La Rosa, Kroger’s Group Vice President of Fresh Merchandising, said, “This newly expanded partnership means more communities will have just-picked produce at their fingertips 365 days a year.” Under the terms of the partnership, 80 Acres Farm will deliver fresh produce to 316 Kroger locations in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.
The changing consumer habits and growth of the e-commerce food sector are providing opportunities to companies like Else Nutrition to expand into global markets.
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