White Paper Research

GC Protein Pricing Review Year End 2023, March 2024

What is the cost of protein from various sources, animal, plant, or other? This topic has generated great discussion in recent years but remains murky and is also often the subject of biased attempts at persuasion by interest groups (rather than dispassionate analysis of the true comparable costs). Arriving at a fact-based understanding of these costs is more important than ever for both the food industry, and the human population more generally.  Read More

SMID-Sized Consumer Brand Mergers For Scale and Profitability, November 2023

If you run, own, or invested in a Consumer brand startup that now generates over $10M/year in revenue, you have graduated to the rarified air of only a few percent of those who attempt such an undertaking. Congratulations! However, if that business still generates revenue of less than around $30M/year, you may be stuck in the neutral-zone of Consumer business scale—big enough to matter, but still unable (in an industry with modest gross margin potential, especially if you use third party co-manufacturers) to be meaningfully profitable… but you may have one more option that’s open to you than you realized.  Read More

Turning the Corner: Practitioner Channel for Supplements Offers Growth and Value, Oct. 2021

The practitioner channel, as traditionally defined, is a sales route for dietary supplements where the seller (or retailer) is a practicing doctor, nutritionist, or other accredited healthcare practitioner. These products, though sold through the practitioner channel, are still regulated by the FDA as dietary supplements and are not FDA-approved as pharmaceuticals. They do not require prescriptions or the involvement of pharmacists as required for prescription pharmaceutical products.Read More

Non-Dairy Milk And Cheese Update, November 2020

The Fall of Dairy Milk:  Many American consumers are aware that consumption of dairy milk has declined. What may surprise you is the degree of that decline. According to the USDA, consumption of milk in the United States declined over 27% between the 1970s and 2012 (1) on a per capita basis (from approximately 278.8 pounds/person/year to only 198.8). That rate of contraction has only increased in recent years as healthier and more sustainable products like nut-based milks have entered the market. Per capita consumption of dairy milk in the US is now around 150 pounds.(32) Statista, citing Nielsen data, have even purported that consumption had already dropped to 149 pounds of fluid dairy per capita per annum by 2017.(2)  In other words, consumption of fluid dairy milk may be down nearly 50% in the United States since the 1970s, and that trend does not seem to be slowing.  Read More

After The Natural Gold Rush, August 2020

Valuations for growth-stage food and bev companies are coming down.  Years from now some may (or may not) blame Covid-19 for not only killing Expo West 2020, but perhaps also for bursting the valuation bubble that had formed for natural food & bev businesses.  However, that would be no more accurate than it would be to blame the events of 9/11 for starting the bear market nineteen years ago. Read More

Dining in the Time of Corona (Navigating the Post-COVID-19 Restaurant Industry for Investors and Operators) July 2020 (as seen in qsrmagazine.com)

We are living in a time of unprecedented change in the economy and in the world at large, and nowhere is that more evident than in the restaurant industry. At Green Circle Capital, our professionals know, from decades of experience, that out of every crisis also comes innovation and opportunity.  We seek to partner with brands and technologies that are better—better for you, better for the planet, and better tech-enabled—in an effort to navigate the post-pandemic world.   Read More

Protein….  Where’s The Beef?,  May 2019 (as seen in Fodnavigator-usa.com)

These days, as I travel through the offices of natural products CEOs and investors, and grocery aisles, and trade show booths at Expos North, South, East and West, I find myself constantly informed of the protein content in food and beverage products.  Do you also notice this trend accelerating?  It’s getting to the point where I sometimes walk into industry events expecting to see nametags that read, “Mike Jones, CEO, Oat Milk Smoothie Co., 18,720 grams protein (but I’m working on it!  Ha. LOL.)”  This obsession with protein content in modern food marketing is giving me pause (and, oddly, no extra muscle mass as I contemplate it on my couch). Read More

Better-for-You Pasta—Renewing Growth for The Category, July 2018

Pasta is a large category.
According to business intelligence firm Euromonitor and the Canadian International Department of Agriculture, the US pasta market was valued at $3.6 billion in 2016. Growth in the pasta market had been strong over the last 25 years with a compound annual growth rate of roughly 4% between 1990 and 2016, according to a research report by IMARC group and a 1991 report cited in a New York Times article. Business consultants at IMARC explain how the category has traditionally benefited from its convenience and taste profile, and it was long considered “on trend” for both restaurants and at home consumption. However, changes in consumer tastes, driven by perceived benefits of reducing carbohydrates, and the rise of alternative grain options like quinoa has led to a rather sharp slow down in the overall category in both the United States and in key markets in Europe.  Read More

Degradation of Vitamins And Probiotics Caused By Exposure to Heat, Water and Sunlight, June 2018 (as seen in Nutraceutical Business Review)

Heat, Water & Sunlight Degrade Some Nutritional Ingredients

Vitamins and probiotics (and other active ingredients) can be substantially affected by exposure to heat, water (or other liquids) and/or sunlight.   The nutritional value (or level of potency) of such ingredients can degrade when exposed.  Therefore, maintaining the viability (and consistency—commensurate with accurate label claims) of these nutritional components in food and beverage products, from the time of production to the time of consumption, can be challenging.  Read More

What’s My Valuation? (as seen in Bevnet.com & Projectnosh.com, Nov/Dec 2017)

Part I: Evaluating Valuation.  
As an investment banker in the Consumer space (focused on natural products) who often talks with the CEOs and owners of early-stage and growth-stage companies I am frequently asked, “What’s my valuation?” My short answer is: “Whatever the market will bear.” It rarely satisfies.  Read More

Enhancing Enterprise Value In VMS/Nutraceutical Businesses, Nov 2017

The VMS/nutraceutical industry is growing at a very healthy rate, exceeding that of other consumer non-durables such as food and beverages and dramatically outpacing growth of the sluggish overall American and global economies. Certain segments are growing faster than others. Sports nutrition leads the pack, with a 10.2% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) over the last 5 years, with meal replacement at 9.3%; herbs and botanicals at 6.9%; and specialties, including products containing ingredients such as probiotics and omega-3 oils, at 5.9%.  Read More

Non-Alcoholic Beverage Industry Summary White Paper, November 2016

The US market for non-alcoholic beverages in 2015 was roughly $170 billion and is projected to grow to roughly $190 billion by 2020.1 On a global basis the market is approaching US$900 billion. According to Transparency Research, if one includes milk and dairy, the global non-alcoholic beverage industry is expected to reach $1937.73 billion (nearly two trillion dollars) by 2020.2   Read More