Fresh Take: Food Startups Face A Make-Or-Break Year In 2024

Food & Drink

Inflation may be subsiding, but it’s still tough for food and beverage startups to find cash. Companies are struggling, and the pressure from investors remains. There are deals to be had, but few deals have been announced.

Maybe it’s about quality. How about this question, posed to me by a founder while drinking chaga tonics in Erewhon Market’s Venice location in the L.A. area earlier this week: Are any of the companies for sale actually good companies, or are the failing firms the ones trying to exit?

It is make-or-break-it for some brands, and that will be on display at the Fancy Food Show later this month in Las Vegas, as well as Expo West in March. I’ll be reporting from the expo floor and look forward to seeing you there!

— Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer

Order my book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, out now from Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

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How Can Sustainable Products Make An Impression On Store Shelves?

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Field Notes

I’m still blown away by the winter farmer’s market in Santa Monica. The biggest purple cauliflowers I’ve ever seen. Bright pink castelfranco and treviso radicchios. Mandarins and limes and lemons and grapefruits. These purple Brussels sprouts (pictured) particularly made me jealous of California’s winter bounty.

Thanks for reading the 98th edition of Forbes Fresh Take! Let me know what you think. Subscribe to Forbes Fresh Take here.

Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, published on December 6, 2022, with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her nearly nine years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in northern France.

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