Grovara has closed the loop on its proprietary technology platform, ushering in the first-of-its-kind B2B e-commerce international marketplace for American wellness manufacturers. The Philadelphia-based technology company takes the most promising wellness brands global—like GT's Kombucha and Wholesome Sweeteners—connecting them to 5,000 vetted global buyers in 45 countries.
The result is the only B2B e-commerce marketplace of its kind—a curated catalog of organic, natural and better-for-you snacks, beverages and nutraceuticals—and a new way of doing global trade in the wellness space.
"To say that Grovara is disrupting international exporting of wellness products doesn't do it justice," said David Pottruck, a Grovara advisor/investor who, along with Charles Schwab, ushered in the era of online trading.
"Grovara's comprehensive approach is buoyed by powerful data and proprietary technology that eliminates most of exporting's headaches."
The global wellness market is exploding, growing 12.1% to over $4.1 trillion in 2018 according to the Global Wellness Institute, with healthy eating, nutrition and weight loss accounting for more than $700 billion, and growing. American-made natural food and beverage products are the most in-demand, with $47.2 billion in sales expected this year, with growth outpacing all food and beverage products sold in the U.S. by nearly 300%, according to the most recent State of the Natural Industry report by SPINS, the leading provider of wellness industry insights in North America.
While B2C e-commerce has been broadly adopted, B2B global online sales have outpaced B2C by nearly 400%, according to an August report from Statista. The next generation of international buyers has come to expect the innovation and security that has come with B2C e-commerce, where exporting has long been dominated by the same old players and rife with fraud and risk.
"B2B marketplaces are trending because a new generation is gaining control of these traditionally monopolistic industries," said Grovara CEO and co-founder Peter Groverman. "As our systems become more sophisticated, more features will come online."
Grovara is not like a traditional export broker or distributor. Rather, it is a platform built by nearly a decade of entrepreneurial moxie and mission-driven hustle. Groverman and co-founder and President Abu Kamara learned exporting on the ground all over the globe, witnessing firsthand the challenges brands and buyers face, and continued to press ahead despite the many obstacles—from technology to fraud-fighting—in the name of bringing healthier and better-tasting food and beverage to new markets across the globe and repatriating American dollars abroad.
Grovara takes brands global in 120 days, from global product analysis to buyer payment processing through trusted industry leader Stripe. Powerful data insights from SPINS and Grovara's trusted relationships with global buyers means a perfect fit for American brands' exported products, ensuring prime placements in the markets best-suited for them. Other partnerships, like with IX-ONE, whose comprehensive data tool captures and tracks vital product information, streamlines and automates processes and other exporting-associated worfklows that can be overwhelming for even the fastest-growing American wellness brands.
One of those brands is True Citrus, a Maryland-based maker of natural citrus drink flavorings/mixers and salt-free seasonings that started working with Grovara in 2014 when it was already in 35,000 U.S. retail locations. For the first half of this year, True Citrus has grown 334% and its international sales have more than doubled.
"The team at Grovara has become a second family and has completely supported our brand and wants to succeed as much as we do," said Kerri McLaughlin, True Citrus vice president of sales operations.
"Building international sales is a challenge, but knowing you have a team of people who will take care of your brand like it is theirs is refreshing."
As Grovara finetunes its technology and scales to meet growing demand, it aims to expand its wellness offerings into pet products, supplements and health & beauty aids while expanding its global footprint to 100 countries in the next two years.
Grovara will be representing its brands at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland, this week.