One of the most successful industries for equity crowdfunding is food and beverage companies. People love investing in brands and concepts that they themselves would use or patronize.
Not to mention, who doesn’t understand what food and beverage brands do to make money? If you’re a restaurant, you sell food and beverages to hungry and thirsty customers. If you’re a craft brewer, you sell your products to beer lovers. It’s not rocket science.
A recent equity crowdfunding success story is Ample Foods, a San Francisco-based company that makes meal replacement drinks. Already possessing a roster of venture capital investors, the company recently closed a second fundraising campaign on the equity crowdfunding platform, Republic. The two campaigns, combined, raised a total of $1.47 million.
If you’ve got a quality product, a strong management team, and a vision for the future, equity crowdfunding can be your only source of funding, or it can be complementary to other funding sources.
Consumer-focused food and beverage concepts will continue to be popular with individual and institutional investors. The five listed below all are worth taking a closer look if you’re in the hunt for an equity crowdfunding investment.
Automation in the foodservice industry continues to gather steam. Even before the novel coronavirus hit, automated food and beverage vending machines such as Chowbotics and Cafe X were taking the world by storm.
Backed by an experienced management team — Massimo Noja De Marco, the co-founder of a ghost kitchen called Kitchen United — Piestro is looking to attack the pizza market with a robotic pizza maker that delivers artisanal-quality in three minutes.
As I write this, it has 80 days left in its campaign. To date, it’s raised $156,739 from 174 investors. The minimum investment is $249.39.
Recently, my InvestorPlace colleague, Luke Lango, took a deeper dive into Piestro’s possibilities. Luke believes pizza vending machines will someday take over the world. I would tend to agree based on the smaller real estate footprint alone.
As a lover of coffee, as soon as I saw the Kaffi Coffee equity crowdfunding campaign on Wefunder, I just had to take a closer look.
Kaffi Coffee is Icelandic energy coffee. What exactly is Icelandic energy coffee?
As the company’s presentation suggests, it is a functional energy drink disguised as cold coffee. The product is good for you and tastes good at the same time. I sometimes have a hard time drinking cold coffee beverages, so I’d really like to give it a try. But for now, I’m taking founder Smari Asmundsson’s word for it.
Here’s a little blurb from BevNET’s March 2019 review of Kaffi:
“Kaffi Icelandic Protein Coffee is a new ready-to-drink dairy-based line that is being launched by the company behind Smári Icelandic Yogurt. Announced in January 2019, the line features three flavors, including Iced Mocha, New Orleans, and Keto Latte,” BevNET wrote.
“The basic premise behind these products is to bottle up the benefits of Icelandic skyr (Smári’s core yogurt product) but deliver it with less tartness to appeal to a broader audience. To that end, the brand has certainly succeeded. The products taste rich but smooth.”
Reading that, now I really want to try it. Being in Canada probably doesn’t help. We always get new products later than in the U.S.
43% of Americans drink coffee daily. And millennials drink a ton of it. Kaffi is going after the refrigerated ready-to-drink coffee market, which has grown by 19% compounded annually over the past three years to $405 million.
To date, Kaffi Coffee’s raised $67,750, with plans to raise a maximum of $1.07 million. If you do invest, you’ll receive a convertible note that entitles you to 5% interest and a 30% discount on the stock you get when converting the note in the future.
Check it out.
The pull of the craft brewer or distiller is irresistible. At least it is to me. So, when I saw the Goodwood Brewing equity crowdfunding campaign on Fundopolis, I was excited for two reasons.
First, I enjoy a good beer. Secondly, I’m not too familiar with Fundopolis, so checking out Goodwood’s campaign allows me to kill two birds with one stone.
Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Goodwood’s beer is currently distributed across 14 states. As a differentiator, the brewer makes its beer with limestone water.
Goodwood has nine year-round beers: Louisville Lager, Bourbon Barrel Stout, Walnut Brown Ale, Hemp Gose Ale, Spruce Tip IPA, Bourbon Barrel Ale, Honey Ale, El Gozador, and Goodwood IPA. It also has several seasonal beers. I’m getting thirsty just writing about them.
The best part? It also makes small-batch craft spirits. Its current bourbons include Stout Barrel Finish and Honey Ale Barrel Finish. Yummy.
Goodwood currently operates two taprooms in Louisville and Frankfort, Kentucky. A third’s expected to open later in the summer or early fall.
In 2019, Goodwood had $2.12 million in revenue, a gross profit of $1.20 million, and a net loss of $487,212.
Unlike an equity investment, Goodwood’s is a revenue share. This means if you invest $100, you will get back $150. If it takes the company the full seven years to pay back your investment, your return works out to 6% compounded annually. The terms section of its campaign page has a good explanation of how revenue shares work.
Try out Goodwood’s beer. If you like it, a small investment might be a good way to pay yourself back. However, like all investments, do your due diligence and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re unclear about something in the presentation.
Will Ashworth has written about investments full-time since 2008. Publications where he’s appeared include InvestorPlace, The Motley Fool Canada, Investopedia, Kiplinger, and several others in both the U.S. and Canada. He particularly enjoys creating model portfolios that stand the test of time. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.