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20 Emerging CPG Brands to Watch in 2021

CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) sales reached $933 billion in 2020, a 10.4% increase over the past year.

And small CPG companies reported higher revenue growth (18.3%) compared to large manufactures (7.5%).

Check our list of growing CPG startups disrupting the industry. We’ve researched key company data and added search growth and funding information.

1. Verb Energy

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5-year search growth: 890%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Lexington, MA

Funding: $4.9M (Seed)

What they do: Verb Energy makes caffeinated bars. The company derives caffeine from green tea. And reports that each bar has similar caffeine content as an espresso. The brand currently has 11 flavors for each of its snacks, from coconut to chai.

2. Serenity Kids

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5-year search growth: 3600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2016

Location: Austin, TX

Funding: $4.5M (Seed)

What they do: Serenity Kids sells baby food with low sugar content. Their product catalog includes 19 SKUs across meat, veggie pouches, purees, and puff snacks. Startup generated $9 million in revenue in 2020, a 3x increase over the past year.

3. Beauty Pie

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5-year search growth: 688%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: Undisclosed (Series A)

What they do: Beauty Pie sells makeup, fragrance, personal care products, supplements. The startup defines itself as “Costco for luxury beauty” as it uses a membership model and offers lower prices than those found at retail stores.

4. Truvani

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5-year search growth: 99x+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2015

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Funding: Unfunded

What they do: Truvani is a DTC organic supplement brand. One of the brand’s bestsellers is a line of plant-based protein powders, which come in 7 varieties. Besides protein powder, the company has a wide range of vitamins and supplements, from vitamin C to digestive enzymes. The brand also recently introduced personal care products, including organic deodorant and fluoride-free toothpaste.

5. Spot & Tango

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5-year search growth: 666%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2014

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $5.2M (Seed)

What they do: Spot & Tango is a dog food subscription service. The brand suggests personalized meals based on an onboarding questionnaire. The company sells its meals in two different formats: dry or fresh (which requires refrigeration). All of their products use human-grade ingredients.

6. Kosas

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5-year search growth: 185%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2015

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Funding: $7M (Series B)

What they do: Kosas is a clean cosmetics startup. Kosas’ product collection includes 30 SKUs, with a focus on makeup. All of their formulas are free from talc, sulfates, and parabens.

7. Branch Basics

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5-year search growth: 354%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2012

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Funding: $1.2M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Branch Basics is a brand of refillable home cleaning essentials. The company’s products are plant-based, fragrance-free, and are shipped in reusable bottles.

8. Dropps

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5-year search growth: 266%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2006

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Funding: $16M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Dropps sells laundry and dishwasher detergent pods. The brand has 6 scent options, including unscented. Dropps’s products do not contain phthalates and phosphates. The startup ships products in compostable packaging, and offsets carbon emissions for delivery. Following a funding round in February 2021, the startup reached an estimated valuation of up to $95 million.

9. ILIA Beauty

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5-year search growth: 312%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2011

Location: Laguna Beach, CA

Funding: $14.5M (Series B)

What they do: ILIA Beauty sells products that combine skincare and makeup. Their formula for the mascara (one of the company’s bestsellers) is 99% natural. All products are certified cruelty-free.

10. OLIPOP

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5-year search growth: 1214%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Oakland, CA

Funding: $12.5M (Series A)

What they do: Olipop is a sparkling soda with reduced sugar content. Each can contains 9 grams of fiber and features probiotics and botanicals. Their product portfolio consists of 7 different flavors of sparkling tonics, from vintage cola to orange cream.

11. Catalina Crunch

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5-year search growth: 1500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2017

Location: Indianapolis, IN

Funding: $6.3M (Series Unknown)

What they do: Catalina Crunch produces keto-friendly foods, including cereal in 8 flavors, 3 types of smoothies, and 4 varieties of cookies. The company uses flour made of pea protein and guar gum for their cereal. All products have reduced sugar content, while their cereal contains 0 grams of net sugar.

12. Alani Nu

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5-year search growth: 99x+

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Louisville, KY

Funding: Unfunded

What they do: Alani Nu is a workout nutrition and supplement brand largely targeting female consumers. The brand offers supplement essentials, from multivitamins to collagen powder. For fitness enthusiasts, they have protein powders and workout/recovery supplements.

13. Goli Nutrition

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5-year search growth: 8800%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: West Hollywood, CA

Funding: Unfunded

What they do: Goli Nutrition is a supplement brand most known for its apple cider vinegar gummies. Their gummy vitamins rank first by sales on Amazon US in the health and household category. Besides apple cider vinegar gummies, the company recently introduced an ashwagandha supplement in the same format.

14. Inno Supps

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5-year search growth: 9400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2020

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Funding: Unfunded

What they do: Inno Supps is a sports supplement brand. Specifically, they sell products for muscle building (protein powder, creatine), fat-burning (carnitine), and a general wellness line (turmeric, greens complex). Their products do not contain artificial sweeteners and are manufactured in a GMP facility.

15. HighKey

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5-year search growth: 3400%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: Orlando, FL

Funding: Undisclosed (Series Unknown)

What they do: HighKey makes keto-friendly, gluten-free snacks. The brand currently sells cookies, cereal, and baking mixes. Instead of sugar, most products (including their popular cookies) use stevia and monk fruit as sweeteners. Another popular product from the brand is a breakfast cereal that contains 16 grams of protein per serving.

16. JuneShine

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5-year search growth: 3233%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: San Diego, CA

Funding: Undisclosed (Seed)

What they do: JuneShine is a hard kombucha brand. The company’s product portfolio includes 7 flavors, from chili mango to acai berry. Beverages have a 6% alcohol content and include green tea, cane sugar, and honey as base ingredients.

17. Dr. Squatch

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5-year search growth: 4750%

Search growth status: Exploding

Year founded: 2013

Location: Marina del Rey, CA

Funding: $1.3M (Seed)

What they do: Dr. Squatch is a personal care brand targeting male consumers. Their product catalog includes soap, hair care, deodorant, and toothpaste. The brand is known for its handmade soap, which is made from natural oils.

18. Blueland

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5-year search growth: 4700%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: New York, NY

Funding: $25M (Series B)

What they do: Blueland offers eco-friendly cleaning products. The company sells starter kits along with refills. Each starter kit is supplied with reusable bottles. Refills are available in tablet format and shipped in compostable pouches. Blueland has shipped 9 million units of its products since 2019.

19. Everdrop

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5-year search growth: 6500%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2019

Location: Munich, Germany

Funding: $21.8M (Series A)

What they do: Everdrop sells sustainable household cleaning products including laundry detergent and plastic-free cleaning tablets. The startup uses reusable packaging for all of its products. The German startup reached an estimated valuation of up to $131 million following a funding round in February 2021.

20. Curlsmith

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5-year search growth: 8600%

Search growth status: Regular

Year founded: 2018

Location: London, United Kingdom

Funding: Undisclosed (Series A)

What they do: Curlsmith makes curl care products. The company offers an extensive hair care product line for curly and wavy hair, including shampoo, conditioner, and foam. Curlsmith’s products do not include silicones, sulfates, and mineral oils.

Conclusion

That completes our list of the top CPG startups to watch in 2021.

One thing that these startups have in common is that many founders have a strong understanding of their target consumer base, often derived from personal experience.

For instance, the founder of Catalina Crunch couldn't consume sugar due to diabetes, so he has built his own food company to tackle that problem. While the motherhood experience of Serenity Kids' founder taught about healthy nutrition issues for babies, she went ahead with a new brand to help other parents.

With more consumers switching to online shopping for their consumer goods, a growing number of CPG brands are seizing the opportunity. And we can expect an increasing number of new brands considering the growth of the industry overall.

Last Updated: 
April 30, 2021
Josh Howarth
Co-founder of Exploding Topics.

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