Food Entrepreneur NEW YORK — The consultancy Bain & Co. has published a list of food and beverage “insurgent brands” to watch this year, including mainstays like Chobani Inc., Impossible Foods and Kodiak as well as newcomers like Barebells, Bobo’s, Carbone, Chomps and Legendary Foods, to name a few.

Bain & Co. defines insurgent brands as those that generate more than $25 million of annual revenues in tracked channels, have grown more than 10 times their category's average growth rate over the last five years, and maintained at least 10% growth over the last two years, while remaining independent or having been acquired by a large consumer packaged goods company only within the last two years.

“Every year the insurgent brands we identify provide insight into where innovative and disruptive growth is happening in the sector,” said Charlotte Apps, executive vice president of Bain's Consumer Products practice. “At a time when many scale incumbents have reached their limits on price increases and volumes have stagnated, the insurgents on our list prove that a return to volume-driven growth will require a refocus on meaningful consumer-centric value propositions and strong velocities at the shelf. Looking forward we expect these insurgents to continue to capture a greater share of category growth.”

Bain & Co. categorized the entrepreneurial ecosystem where many of the insurgent brands exist as regaining momentum in 2023. While accounting for less than 2% of market share in the categories in which they exist, the identified brands captured nearly 20% of incremental category growth compared with 6% in 2022. They achieved such growth through volume expansion alongside price increases, taking share from larger competitors in a market in which volumes were flat, according to the consultancy.

The product category where insurgent brands had the most significant impact was non-alcoholic beverages, with such companies as Celsius, Prime, Cellucor, Ghost, and Alani Nu accounting for 3.4% of market share but capturing more than 35% of the growth. In food, insurgents accounted for less than 1% of market share and captured more than 7% of category growth.

Bain & Co. also identified several emerging insurgent brands, those with sales between $10 million and $25 million that are outgrowing their category by 10 times or more. Included on that list are such brands as Goodles, TruRanch, Carbliss, Mike’s Hot Honey and Bizzy Cold Brew.

“Looking forward, we expect insurgent brands to capture an even greater share of category growth,” the report said. “The past several years of supply chain pressures and price-driven growth have favored scale incumbents. But as consumers seek meaningful value propositions for the prices they are paying and as innovation by large FMCG companies remains limited, insurgents are well positioned to earn an even greater share of the growth.”

To view Bain & Co.’s complete list of insurgent brands to watch, follow this link

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