A few observations:
Food and beverage companies are merging and acquiring other food and beverage companies at record rates. According to one investment company, this trend is largely the result of strategic acquisitions related to companies entering a new product category, consolidating and scaling existing operations, divesting noncore assets, and rationalizing their portfolios.
It has never been a better time to be a food startup, and the law has played a key role in that. From local cottage food laws to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Program, the law is being harnessed to encourage and support food and beverage entrepreneurs. Benefits include size-specific exemptions to legal requirements, grants and funding opportunities, education and outreach, and various incentive programs.
States are inventing new ways for social entrepreneurs to pursue both social purposes and profits. While third-party certifiers like B Lab continue to grow and strengthen social enterprises, most states have enacted legislation that legally legitimizes these companies.
Consumers keep buying more and more food. According to the USDA, the food service industry is about equal in size to the food retail industry.
The food supply chain is undergoing massive changes. Innovative companies and people have been rerouting, repurposing, recycling, and rethinking food consumption and delivery. From food recovery to urban farming to food trucks to direct-delivery of craft beer, the places we grow, harvest, and create our food experiences are expanding.
In short, the timing is right. As I develop this blog, I am eager to see how the law can be used to drive innovation in the food and beverage industry.