Carol Ortenberg

Posts by Carol Ortenberg

General Mills Tests New Kids Brand to Prevent Constipation

General Mills has expanded its presence in functional kids products with the launch of Doolies, a new line of snacks and beverages containing fiber and probiotics to help prevent and treat occasional constipation in children.

Amazon: 100K New Brands Have Joined in 2021

Amazon has welcomed more than 100,000 brands to its U.S. store so far this year, and the company has introduced a suite of new services and user tools aimed at helping those brands gain customers and increase profits. The online retailer made the announcement yesterday at its annual Accelerate 2021 sellers conference in Seattle, where it also revealed that sales by brands are up 60% year-over-year through the end of June.

CBD Legalized in California as Governor Signs AB-45 Into Law

After years of effort by activists including multiple legislative attempts, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 45 into law yesterday, creating a regulatory framework to immediately allow for the legal sale of CBD-infused products.

Whole Foods Co-Founder, CEO John Mackey Announces Retirement

Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey today announced in an open letter addressed to “fellow team members” his intentions to retire next September after 44 years at the natural retailer.

Expo East Concerns Grow, From Safety to Sampling

Members of the natural products industry have had a sense of deja vu the last few weeks as the fate of the annual trade show Natural Products Expo East has been a hot discussion topic. Last year, show organizer New Hope shifted its shows to a virtual format, but this year the company is moving forward, having spent recent weeks attempting to address attendee safety concerns and generate enthusiasm for a return to in-person events.

New Hope Answers Expo East Questions on Safety, Attendance Levels

As questions over safety and buyer attendance continue to linger less than a month before the event begins, media platform and event producer New Hope hosted a virtual Q&A session today to address concerns regarding its upcoming Natural Products Expo East trade show.

UNFI Moves Winter Show to Virtual Format, Mondelez Cancels Accelerator Showcase

In an email to customers yesterday distributor UNFI announced that it would shift its Winter Natural Show to a virtual-only format. The expo, for suppliers of the ubiquitous natural foods distributor, was slated to be held in Las Vegas Sept. 7-9 and was going to be the company’s first in-person event following the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year.

Fancy Food Show Moves to Fully Virtual Format; New Hope Adds New Protocols

Earlier today, The Specialty Food Association (SFA) cancelled the in-person trade show portion of the Fancy Food Show 2021. Slated to run September 27 through 29 in New York City, the event will now move to a fully virtual format. Meanwhile, New Hope, and its parent company Informa, announced new Covid-19 related protocols for Natural Products Expo East.

Alongside New Capital, Sunrise Adjusts Strategy, Brings on Burns

CPG-focused investment group Sunrise Strategic announced late last week that it would bring aboard more food and beverage veterans, notably ex-ONE Brands CEO Peter Burns, to help the firm diversify its capabilities. The news comes as the firm also announced its financial partner, Trilantic North America, had invested additional capital into the group.

Following ‘Retooling’ and Expansion, Urban Remedy Raises $18M

Banking on increased trips out and about as COVID recedes, ultra-fresh meal, snack and beverage producer Urban Remedy is doubling down on a strategy to grow sales via its branded kiosks. It’s a move that CEO Paul Coletta says allows the company to achieve better margins, grow faster with less capital investment and puts the company on “path to profitability.”

Chobani Files for IPO

Yogurt and beverage producer Chobani announced today that it has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a potential Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company did not detail a proposed valuation, a potential stock price or a timeline for an IPO. The valuation could be in excess of $10 billion, according to a Reuters report.

Vega Investor Discusses Portfolio Strategy

Last week private equity fund WM Partners acquired the performance nutrition brand from previous owner Danone. The deal is part of the firm’s strategy to acquire synergistic brands and then “build operational excellence” in order to better position them for sale to a strategic buyer.

Danone Sells Vega to WM Partners

Today yogurt and dairy conglomerate Danone announced it had sold plant-based nutrition company Vega to private equity firm WM Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Boxed To Become Publicly Traded Company

Online retailer Boxed announced this week that it would become a publicly traded company via a merger with SPAC Seven Oaks Acquisition Corp. The proposed deal values Boxed at roughly $900 million, Seven Oaks said in a presentation to investors today, and will leave Boxed with $334 million in cash to invest back into the company.