Fast Company released its annual ranking of companies that are leading the charge on innovation and disruption. This year, several thriving CPG companies earned spots on the list. These CPG brands are shaking things up and showing other businesses that forging a new path is worth the risk.
Fast-casual salad chain sweetgreen serves up quick, healthy meals made with farm-to-table produce. Their locally sourced food, served in compostable bowls, proves that eating sustainably can be delicious and convenient. In 2017, their restaurants went totally cashless, and last year, they began using blockchain technology to track their supply chain.
This Swedish oat milk brand has been going strong since 1994, but over the past two years, their sales have shot up, especially after bringing their products to the U.S. Now a favorite dairy alternative for baristas and casual coffee drinkers alike, Oatly has proven that patience pays off, and sometimes, simplicity is key. From 2017 through 2018, their revenue increased from $1.5 million to $15 million.
Winc is completely reversing the traditional winery business model — and this deviation from the norm is driving the company’s success. As of 2018, Winc is one of the top 50 wineries in the U.S. This subscription-based wine club takes cues from their consumers’ ratings to create the wines they really want. They’re clearly in tune with their primarily millennial subscribers: since Winc began making their own wine four years ago, their revenue has grown by 292 percent.
The market for clean, non-toxic beauty products is growing, and Beautycounter, a direct-to-consumer skincare and cosmetics brand, is rising to meet that demand. Beautycounter leaves 1,500 ingredients that fall under the umbrella of “legal but questionable” in the U.S. out of their products. The team behind Beautycounter wants to give the whole industry a makeover by lobbying for stricter regulations on personal care products.
5. Beyond Meat
Beyond Meat is creating the kind of plant-based meat alternatives that might fool even the most devout carnivore. The Beyond Burger, a vegan patty that “bleeds” when you take a bite, is now available at restaurants and grocery stores all over the U.S. Beyond Meat is ushering in a new generation of beef — no cow required.
6. Lord Jones
This brand’s CBD-infused edibles, skincare formulas, and tinctures might as well be luxury accessories — their sleek, eye-catching packaging gives them an upscale vibe. It’s no surprise that Lord Jones has made a name for themselves in the high-end beauty market, becoming the first CBD company to sell their lotions on Sephora’s website. The brand’s first retail locations are set to open later this year in Los Angeles.
Jane Harkness is a freelance writer who provides blogging, copywriting, and proofreading services to startups, small businesses, and nonprofits. She works with clients in a variety of industries, including food and travel, and she also contributes political essays to several digital publications.