Fig Food Company, LLC (FFC) announced today a new broker agreement with Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC (ASM), the world's leading retail solutions company, to drive distribution and sales of FFC's line of organic, plant-based soups and beans. Joel Henry, FFC Founder, expects the partnership with ASM will make Fig Food a $4.5 millionbrand by year-end, expanding FFC from approximately 550 outlets today to 1,400. ASM will represent FFC across all products and channels in the United States.
"ASM has the market intelligence, technology, relationships, scale and leadership to drive sales in the center of the store." Henry notes that he worked with Mike Salzberg, ASM's President and COO, at the Campbell Soup Company, where Henry was VP-Brand Management. "The center of the store represents substantive real estate and profit for retailers," adds Henry, "and needs companies like FFC that create the innovation and excitement necessary for growth."
Fig Food Co.
Henry launched FFC, a $1+ million brand at Whole Foods, with an eye toward helping retailers jump-start grocery sales by offering healthy, shelf-stable options. FFC introduced its current line of organic, kosher, 100% plant-based soups and beans in pouches in the Fall of 2013, bringing the packaging innovation, convenience, and interesting flavors required for center store impact.
FFC was the first to enter the organic soup and bean categories with pouches. Sandstrom Partners created the award-winning Fig Food design, and the soup pouches are microwavable. Inside the pouch, FFC focuses on quality, using organic, North American-grown ingredients, and avoiding flavor enhancers, powdered vegetables and high levels of added salt and sugar.
"We cook our soups to bring the most flavor to each spoonful," says Henry. "We use real garlic and onion, not garlic and onion powder; authentic herbs, like epazote in the Yucatan Black Bean; and even leave the peels on the Yukon Gold potatoes."
After 20 months in the marketplace, Henry believes FFC is ready for the next step-up in distribution. "We have taken this time to improve our products, solidify our supply chain and refine our retail promotions. The selection of ASM builds upon this foundation to bring FFC to more stores and more people." He projects Fig Food will be in almost 5,000 stores by 2017.
Henry comments that Fig Food would continue to look within the center of the store for future expansion. He sees a need for healthy, plant-based foods across many grocery categories and eating occasions, calling Fig Food a "horizontal play" in the food start-up world, in contrast to the more common vertical category plays. Together with distribution growth, he expects Fig Food will be a $20 million brand by early 2018.
Funding – Open to Accredited Investors on CircleUp.com
Henry calls this the final piece to the puzzle, and one where he hopes to engage others. "Fig Food has the credentials, the technological capability and the passion to bring healthy, delicious, plant-based food throughout the store. With ASM on-board, we have the capability to make our food broadly available, critical to our mission to improve the health of people and planet. Now we need the money necessary to secure this growth."
Henry hopes FFC's compelling business case and social impact will motivate accredited investors to participate in Fig Food's current equity offering. Now available on CircleUp, a curated investment platform for high-growth, consumer-focused companies, FFC looks to close this round of fundraising on July 3rd.