D2C startups have experienced a real boom in recent months, not only in the food & beverages market. Skipping middlemen and the associated costs seems more attractive than ever. The current situation, characterised by changed consumer behaviour and a self-evident trend towards online shopping, further favours this development.
In the United States in particular, the direct-to-consumer issue appears to be playing an increasingly important, if not indispensable, role. The number of D2C consumers is not only expected to grow to over 95 million consumers in absolute terms by 2021, but also to account for almost 50% of digital buyers. By 2017, however, the number of digital buyers will be just over 30%, with only 55.9 million. Growth forecasts for 2021 are also around 10% compared to this year.
The list contains the following (partially) acquired D2C startups: Babe Wines, Back to the Roots, Foodspring, Freshly, Graze, Iris Nova, Life Fuels, London Fields Brewery, Michel et Augustin, Perfect Snacks, Purely Elizabeth, Popcorners, Primal Kitchen, RXBar and Seedlip.
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The following startups will be presented
Investments in D2C startups
Corporate: Venture Emerging Brands (Coca Cola)
The D2C beverage startup (Dirty Lemon, among others) has its own distribution and delivery platform in order to respond directly to the needs of the modern consumer. The VC fund VEB of Coca Cola Company was the lead investor in the last round of Seed.
Corporate: General Mills
At the startup Purely Elizabeth the founder Elizabeth Stein is in the foreground. She produces and sells cereal products made from alternatives such as quinoa, hemp or chia. The General Mills Venture and Development Unit, 301 Inc. invested in the startup in 2017.
Takeovers of D2C startups
Corporate: Kraft Heinz
Primal Kitchen has specialised in sauces, dressings and spices. Taken over by Kraft Heinz in early 2019, the startup has since been able to expand its product line even further. Primal Kitchen focuses primarily on healthy products, free of additives and prepared as naturally as possible.