Case: Global Market Expansion

Global market evaluation for a plant-based food and beverage company

The CEO of a plant-based food and beverage company wanted to understand which markets offered her the best expansion opportunity beyond the US home market.

Although fast-growing with plenty of upside in the US, the venture-backed firm was regularly asked by potential new investors about their global aspirations.  Through successive fundraising rounds the questions had become more persistent.  Recognizing the global appeal of the plant-based trend and wanting a thoughtful response for new investors and her board, the CEO asked us to evaluate global markets for expansion potential.  Our prior work reviewing M&A opportunities in this space provided some foundational knowledge for the project.

Using a data-set purchased by the company along with our own research, we evaluated the top 15 global markets across a series of entry criteria, including category scale, channel development, supply and production access, and per capita consumption among others.  Our analysis identified a clear group of four top tier markets as the most attractive options for expansion.  A second group of potential adjacencies to the top tier also became clear, setting up a strategic regional decision about where to plant the first non-US flag.  The work also reaffirmed the attractiveness of the US market and provided confidence in the company’s near-term growth prospects.

Although not necessary to maintain high growth in the near term, the work provided a clear roadmap for longer term growth and a thoughtful and more informed point of view for potential investors.