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How to Unlock Growth as an Emerging Food Brand

March 21, 2023
min read

If there were a phrase to sum up the past few years specifically for the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, it would certainly be “supply chain.” As disruptions and setbacks became the norm, success stories became the unicorn. But, for all the rarity in sighting one of these single-horned creatures, here’s one story that isn’t a myth.  

It all started with an allergen-free CPG brand that was gaining traction right as the pandemic hit—a shake-up that threatened their ability to remain in front of consumers. That emerging food brand was Cybele’s Free-to-Eat, created by Cybele Pascal.

Pascal was operating as a one-person entity, with a few contractors helping her. She had a winning idea in the better-for-you foods category with her allergen-free cookie and pasta products. While products like this exist in the market, Cybele’s tastes delicious—and that put her in a situation where demand was starting to outweigh her ability to deliver products on a consistent basis (on time/in full!)

She knew that one of the keys to her brand’s success and longevity was to stay in production and keep distributors and retailers in stock, and in full supply. Consistently.  

With third-party partners like JPG Resources and Synergy Sales Consulting Group, she’s been able to manage her supply chain and sales more effectively and maintain and grow - in a time when many other businesses have not been able to.

Here’s what Cybele did to manage thru this difficult time:

Doubled down with Third-Party Partnerships

JPG Resources, provides supply chain and operations design, sourcing, and management services to CPG brands, and Synergy Sales Consulting Group, provides sales strategy and execution for emerging CPG brands. Through working as separate entities, together—with other players involved as financial partners and marketing support—they were able to provide Cybele with a turnkey operation for supply chain management, sales optimization, and more.      

Reformulating Recipes to Increase Margins

Part of what occurred regularly during the COVID disruptions was an inability to procure packaging materials and product ingredients—or to do so without exorbitant cost. This is where the JPG team stepped in. Working with Cybele’s on product re-formulation and production, they were able to find innovative solutions that allowed products to remain or become profitable. They were also able to find a more reliable co-packer, and tighten up her ingredient and packaging inputs, handled scheduling and planning, and managed her 3PL partner as well as distribution and order fulfillment to customers. This significantly helped to reduce days on hand and free up cash flow.

“My red velvet cake cookies had been a challenge from the get-go,” says Pascal. “They’re by far the most expensive SKU in my assortment, but they’re also one of my favorites. I really wanted to see them stocked at the major retailers, but they weren’t profitable enough. JPG provided strategies that helped change that.”  

Leaning Into Sales Expertise

Synergy Sales Consulting Group is Cybele’s Sales Team. They are experts in sales strategy, distributor relations, and they manage to retailer category reviews, create data stories, and are responsible for trade planning and managing her broker network. They are truly an integrated business partner.  And, Synergy and JPG work together, with Cybele, to create demand models and provide inputs to forecasting – both for financial and production purposes.  As brands become more concerned about profitability because of inflation and the cost of logistics, partnerships—whether in direct collaboration or as one of many spokes that makes the wheel turn better—help connect all the dots.  

“Synergy has provided turnkey sales leadership for Cybele’s.  Their team has relationships across the industry and knows how to create impactful selling stories to entice retailers to carry our products.  I couldn’t do this without them!”

Capitalizing on Successes

The outcome of these intertwined efforts has been multi-fold. For one, Cybele’s confetti cookies, for which JPG managed the innovation and development, is the number one turning SKU at a leading National retailer, and it’s the number two turning SKU in the category of gluten free cookies. Cybele’s chocolate chip cookies are also in the top five of that same category. And, the mini cookie pouches—another product for which Cybele’s tapped into JPG’s innovation support—will be launching soon!  

With JPG, Synergy, and her other partners, she’s working on securing new retailers and new opportunities that are coming down the pipeline. She’s also working with JPG on the innovation and development for a new product line that will launch in the coming year.  

As a one-person operation, this level of growth and market presence would be virtually impossible. By outsourcing critical elements to experts in their respective fields, Cybele’s has realized results far beyond what other emerging brands could expect—during challenging times or not.  

Whether your food and beverage brand is struggling to make unprofitable products more viable, dealing with supply chain issues, or looking for ways to innovate, JPG offers unparalleled support. For demand analysis and sales optimization needs, Synergy Sales Consulting Group is at the ready. To learn more, contact JPG here, or Synergy’s sales team here.

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