Why is the food industry buying into beauty?

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

product photo courtesy of ZitSticka
product photo courtesy of ZitSticka

Related tags Investment Startup company Acne

This month’s investment deal between food and beverage venture capital firm BFG and skin care startup ZitSticka raised some eyebrows. So, Cosmetics Design checked with BFG partner Ben Fenton and ZitSticka co-founder Daniel Kaplan to find out why their partnership makes good business sense.

“We are excited about helping change the way people talk about acne!” ​admits Ben Fenton, partner at Boulder Food Group (BFG).

“We are in the business,” ​he says, “of helping build great brands and our experience lends itself to that, whether that's in food and beverage or personal care.” ​And he explains a bit about why ZitSticka is a good first personal care business for the firm to invest in, saying, “we were extremely impressed with the co-founders, Robbie [Miller] and Danny [Kaplan], and believe we are partnering with a top-notch team. We believe they have created a highly disruptive brand bringing true innovation, differentiation and efficacy to the acne care space.  Their early traction, with just the one product, so far has been tremendous.”

Food and beauty growing together

The cross-industry investment deal is an opportunity for both BFG and ZitSticka to grow their respective businesses.

“We believe this investment allows us to add channel and category diversity to our portfolio,” ​says Fenton, adding that, “as a tangential category to food and beverage, we see many of the same parallels and drivers across personal care.”

Kaplan sees strategic similarities between the two industries as well, telling Cosmetics Design that, “As a skincare brand, we wanted to partner with a firm that had deep knowledge and experience within CPG (food, beverage, or cosmetics), as the operational and strategic value is extremely transferable between them all. BFG has a really valuable (and transferable) skill set within CPG that we look forward to leveraging.”

Scaling a skin care startup

Kaplan believes that the brand’s partnership with BFG “will take ZitSticka to the next level, with a scaled team, new product releases, and global retail expansion.”

And while the team at BFG won’t be involved in the daily operations of the skin care startup, Fenton tells Cosmetics Design, we do expect to be helpful from a higher-level Board / Strategic standpoint, which may include retailer and channel strategy, new product development and innovation, hiring, cash planning, and capital strategies.”

Read more about this month’s BFG – ZitSticka deal here on CosmeticsDesign.com.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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