Even a quick glance at the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies shows what happens when smart entrepreneurs catch the tailwinds of a strong economy.
The median revenue of the 5,000 companies was $10.2 million of the 5,000 companies and the median compound growth rate was 165.3%. They added more than 582,000 jobs in the past three years, according to Inc. magazine.
But all these impressive numbers reflect a pre-COVID-19 economy. Offices, retailers and restaurants were open. No one wore masks, and hand sanitizer, fresh meat and toilet paper were plentiful. What's coming next for these independent businesses?
Well, they don't seem to be slowing down. "At press time, only 11 percent had cut staff since March, while 47 percent were landing talent let loose by others. And for every CEO reporting a sales decline, another is seeing an uptick. In July, 80 percent were anticipating profitability for 2020," Leigh Buchanan, editor-at-large of Inc. magazine, wrote in a column.
"This is the beauty of the Inc. 5000. Even as their stomachs got smaller, their eyes got bigger. More than 40 percent of honorees say current conditions make it more important than ever to scale quickly. Just 10 percent feel it would be best to slow down," Buchanan added.
The 428 companies that fall into Inc.'s consumer products & services and food & beverage categories—the categories in which most natural products companies are listed—outperformed the overall list with median compound growth of 206%. Those companies, which account for just 8.6% of the 5,000, added 64,104 or 11% of the list's total jobs.
Revenue for companies in the two categories was more in line with the whole list, at $17.5 billion, 8.3% of the overall total revenue of $209.7 billion.
To be considered for the Inc. 5000 list, privately held companies that are based in the United States had to have earned $100,000 or more in 2016 and at least $2 million in 2019. The companies voluntarily submit their financial information.
While Inc. doesn't segregate natural products from traditional CPG, New Hope did, relying on lists of exhibitors at Natural Products Expos, searches of stories on NewHope.com and the companies' websites. Natural industry businesses account for 9 of the top 20 in food & beverages, and 6 of the top 50 in consumer products.
Click through the slide show to see the 51 natural products companies on this year’s list.