Founded in 2017 as new way to connect buyers and suppliers in the grocery industry, Pod Foods Co. relies on digital technology and data to connect emerging brands with grocery merchants through its B2B wholesale marketplace.
The company is eyeing new growth by providing its buyers and sellers with national logistics services under an expanding arrangement with Flowspace, a fulfillment software and infrastructure provider with more than 150 fulfillment locations across the United States, including temperature-controlled facilities operated by farm produce supplier Fresh Del Monte.
“With our accelerating growth from coast to coast, we need a partner with the best warehousing capabilities in the most sought-after retail grocery markets in the U.S.,” says Peter Gialanztis, senior vice president of sales and operations for Pod Foods.
Nationwide Sprouts Farmers Market joins the Pod marketplace
Pod’s network of participating grocery retailers includes such names as goPuff, Dom’s Kitchen & Market, Plum Market and, most recently, the national chain Sprouts Farmers Market.
Pod’s digital marketplace, PodFoods.co, connects these and other merchants with emerging brands. Those include:
- SANS meal bars
- Blue Elephant Soup Ready to Eat
- Beanitos Bean Chips
- 505 Southwestern Roasted Green Chile
- Sati CBD Soda
- Altitude Functional Beverages’ Functional Oat Milk Lattes.
Pod started rolling out Flowspace logistics services in 2022 for an initial location in Ocala, Florida. It has since expanded the arrangement with Flowspace to cover facilities in:
Additional locations are in the works, Gialantzis says.
“The opening of the Denver, Atlanta, and Sacramento warehouses this summer are just the beginning,” he says. “With this flexible capacity, we are able to expand our distribution footprint into key new geographies to keep pace with all of the new brands and retailers joining the Pod Foods supply chain.”
Erik Lucas, an executive of LifeAid Beverage Co., a supplier on Pod’s marketplace, says it has helped to expedite getting products on grocery store shelves.
“We were able to roll out a nationwide promotion from first conversation to the shelf in less than four weeks,” he says in Pod Foods press release.
Analytics data on sales metrics
Pod Foods also provides retailers and suppliers with analytics based on such data as
- Total number of orders
- Cases sold
- Monthly sales by location
In addition, it offers such services as consolidating deliveries and invoices, processing rush orders, and customer service.
Pod Foods asserts that its business model is designed to provide brands with higher profit margins, as detailed in a sample pricing structure on its website, compared with more traditional distributors.
Pod Foods has raised $18.6 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. Larissa Russell, the CEO, and Fiona Lee, the chief product officer, co-founded it after they launched the Green Pea Cookie baking company in 2014.
“Our story is the story of the brands on our catalog,” Russell and Lee say in a blog on the Pod Foods website. “Like so many, we were faced with a common distribution dilemma. We could self-distribute to a limited set of direct retail accounts, or we could attempt to work with the big traditional distributors that were conceived decades ago. We knew they could easily squeeze us out with their high cost and opaque operations.
“Three years later, we decided to stop making cookies and create a tech-enabled grocery supply chain designed for brands first. We needed Pod Foods, so we created it. In nature, a pod creates an environment for peas to grow and thrive, and that’s what we’re doing for brands small and large, near and far.”
Paul Demery is a Digital Commerce 360 contributing editor covering B2B digital commerce technology and strategy. [email protected].
Sign up for a complimentary subscription to Digital Commerce 360 B2B News, published 4x/week. It covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B ecommerce industry. Contact Mark Brohan, senior vice president of B2B and Market Research, at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @markbrohan. Follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to know when we publish Digital Commerce 360 B2B News content.Favorite