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Online food brands move offline, closing e-commerce sites completely

Monday, Jan 22, 2024

Online food brands are moving offline to embrace physical retail expansions, while some retailers plans to close their e-commerce sites completely. 

Experimental fermentation company, Acid League, has announced their plans to shut down their e-commerce site to ensure their products are readily available in stores. The company mentioned that it would be “totally unsustainable” to keep their e-commerce site, while trying to expand their brick-and-mortar offerings and bringing products to international retail lines. 

Tahini company, Soom, also recently announced similar plans to shut down their online store and shift away from e-commerce. This will allow the company to make its products more accessible and available in physical stores.

Grocery stores allow these former DTC brands the opportunity to expand their reach in a brick-and-mortar setting. Food brands like Fly by Jing, Fishwife, Omsom, and Oat Haus first gained their traction online, and now they’ve all made efforts to get shelf space in stores like Whole Foods and Target. The physical store setting is necessary for these companies to scale.  

A recent market research report found that most shoppers discover new products on store shelves, not online. A shelf placement is equivalent to a billboard advertisement for food brands. 

When a company handles its own e-commerce fulfillment, like many DTC brands do, they have to deal with numerous frictions including shipping, logistics, unexpected costs and more. Smaller companies find it difficult to focus on e-commerce while achieving their ultimate goal: to make new, exciting food products. That’s why a brick-and-mortar setting is the most ideal for these brands – to introduce products in a larger-scale setting without the tricky logistics that follow. 

Source: Online Food Brands – Eater
Photo Credit: Acid League

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