EOY: Endings and Beginnings
What's Next, You Ask?
A newsletter on upcoming food and beverage trends that offers a curation of brands and aesthetics written by Andrea Hernández.
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We are a week away from ending 2021, and what a perfect time to reflect on achievements as well as allow oneself to visualize what comes next. I for one am the kind of person who believes in being resolute and less in resolutions, being myself based in Latin America, it’s kind of a necessary trait. It is through unwavering determination and your support that Snaxshot has garnered so much in ONE year, with almost 20,000 subscribers from around the world and a constant open rate of 50%, it has been achieved despite:
All word of mouth
No sponsored posts
No referral tactics
No affiliate links
Our newsletter is read by the biggest food and beverage companies in the world, from the heads of innovation at Nestlé, Unilever, Mondelez, Starbucks, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Grupo Bimbo, AB in Bev, to the largest insight companies like Mintel, PR, design, and marketing agencies, venture funds and regular snaxers alike from as far as Australia, India, Singapore, Tel Aviv and more! What started as a space to unpack trends in an honest manner, allowing for much needed nuance and viewing it from an exploratory lens, has turned into its own movement.
This industry is going through a renaissance of its own, SXS was born from the intention of being able to provide guidance through the noise, as well as give utility at a time where there is so much information that is merely regurgitations, all wrapped in a way that can be easily digested and accessible to all. Becoming an intermediary to create win-win situations for both brands and consumers alike, the building blocks of Snaxshot have been:
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From within those four walls, Snaxshot as a standalone entity began to take shape, like building a house from scratch and furnishing it, it now stands on its own. Nothing prepares you for the emotional rollercoaster that is to build from scratch, an extension of yourself that grows beyond oneself —not being a parent, I can only imagine it must feel somewhat like it. And as a “parent” I only want what’s best for SXS, and it’s why I have spent the last few months meditating and planning on the best way to evolve and grow, while still remaining true to its genesis —utility based, equal parts educational and entertaining. How do I keep building outside of normal constructs —that is what is “expected” but feels “archaic”—testing and exploring ways that can create a more net positive ecosystem for all players in this industry?
In a way, SXS has also become my offering to my generation and beyond. Who needs a North Star when you’re a breaker of compasses? Snaxshot doctrine dictates, excess is death, how is it useful to turn this into yet another directory, that contributes to paradox of choice? In what ways can I give back to our community and continue to nurture them? What does it look like to have community become co-founder and take them along as SXS grows? How do we continue to be impartial and monetize in ways that don’t involve outdated formats like advertising? These are the types of questions I’ve meditated on and after months, the answers have slowly emerged. Slow is good, things should take time, seeds need time to germinate, expand roots, and grow from there.
What’s next you ask?
Chaos and Creation ☄️
No matter how you view it, whether it’s through a scientific or somewhat religious lens, creation stems from friction —atoms turned to galaxies colliding amongst each other, for me, the Kabbalistic approach is one that resonates at the moment, friction between giving and receiving that ultimately led to the Big Bang. Friction can be good, consider that so many 90s kids are nostalgic for web1 internet era, when we weren’t all consumed with being “extremely online” —it was all in good measure, buffering as needed friction from being exposed to everything at once.
Snaxshot focused on reducing unnecessary friction between consumers and brands, found in:
Messaging vs. experience
Emerging, new products
Paradox of choice
Each issue has been intentionally curated around a particular trend to explore alongside a curation of brands within that space —information relevant to both legacy and emerging players alike. Curation as both education and entertainment—in a way that hasn’t been done before, with a consumer centric view—we don’t come from VC background trying to lure you into our portfolio companies, we are not CPG veterans leveraging our connections to gain insight, we want to make this industry approachable to everyone, considering food and beverage are literal pillars in our lives.
How we evolve moving forward is in focusing on reallocating friction, to give in good measure, maintaining our unique experiential process of discovery while involving the community and allowing them to benefit from their participation in this equal exploration —friction as means of creation.
Paradise of Choice 🏝️
American psychologist, Barry Schwartz wrote “The Paradox of Choice” almost a decade ago. In this book he analyses the behavior of different types of people, ones he calls maximisers and satisfiers facing abundance of choice. He also makes a point that demonstrates how the exponential explosion in choice has paradoxically become a problem instead of a solution, and how our obsession with choice encourages us to seek that which makes us feel worse.
“Learning to choose is hard. Learning to choose well is harder. And learning to choose well in a world of unlimited possibilities is harder still, perhaps too hard.”
-Paradox of Choice, Schwartz
Barry Schwartz found that having this unparalleled plethora of choice in the modern world was actually causing people to be less happy with their decisions. He found that instead of increasing decision satisfaction, having too many options made people less likely to be satisfied that they had made the best decision. While freedom is important, Schwartz explains that there is a fine line between having the freedom to choose what you want and being paralyzed in the face of too many options. If the medium is the message, what have modern marketplaces communicated ultimately —despair?
Back in March we made an in-depth issue around the rise of curation in food and beverage, the unbundling of the Amazon marketplace, all stemming from broken experiences whilst grocery shopping boomed URL, as well as aisles of Erewhon and Whole Foods resembling a sea of sameness. Emerging new products leading to rise in niche URL marketplaces like Multiverse (only mushroom products) as well as a shift in consumer preference as Millennials become the largest consumer demographic. We have seen the explosion of curated IRL grocers like PUG (PopUP Grocer) and Foxtrot —trying to undo the archaic grocery model that revolves around who can pay the best real estate and carrying items curated around criteria that suits this new consumer.
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Delivery apps have sought to put back the convenience in convenience stores, and have now become challengers to traditional grocers, as more of our shopping behavior shifts online, these apps have found a successful way to translate an aisle URL, curating based on utility, instead of categories. GoPuff, Gorillas, JOKR are also chasing after emerging brands, knowing that Millennials are cleaning up their fridges, pantries, and bar carts in search of better options. GoPuff has become the new AdWords, as real estate for food and beverage continues to move online, Gorillas and JOKR offer sampling services to emerging brands to take “store demos” URL, with so many options, these apps are helping emerging brands, particularly DTC ones, find an easier way to get folks to sample their products.
Millennials have turned food and beverage into the ultimate signalers, and to capitalize on that momentum, there is an influx of brands emerging, every single day. GrocerGrams are popping up everywhere, shopping has become social, apps like Delli Market allow you to see what other food and beverage products users like and so each user is a curator in itself, Facily and PinDuoduo have gamified grocery shopping, encouraging group buying in lieu of discounts. This new intersection is where we are headed, and at Snaxshot we want to create our own universe to take you from paradox of choice and turn it into an eden, a paradise of choice.
Brave New Snax World 🌌
In the beginning there is chaos, then things begin to take shape. Enter Snaxverse —one cannot fix a sink inside a teardown and call it home improvement, therefore we cannot build on outdated models and call it “innovation.” Instead, we are going to focus on building out our own universe, one that encompasses all of the above, in a way that only we know how to do. And we are bringing our community along with us, we’ve began to source designers and engineers from within SXS who are interested in helping us build what’s next, and if you’re reading this and it sparks your interest, feel free to respond to this email as well.
Snaxverse will become a new home for our community, that will be focused on creating a win-win ecosystem for both brands and consumers alike. I cannot thank you all enough for the support you have given me in 2021 and I promise to keep true to our genesis, in building a platform that encompasses Snaxshot’s values, all while being able to give back to you as the snaxer. We will be giving more updates through our discord, so be sure to join and stay tuned!
Would love to personally thank Emmett Shine, Orchid Bertelsen, Rhian Buetler, Nate Rosen, Noah Wunsch, Abie Cohen, Ben Witte, Craig Shapiro, Andy Weissman, Kary Romero, Erika Batista, Alina Estrella, Marty Bell, Michael Sharon, Kat Cole, Chris Cantino, Jaime Schmidt, Kaleigh Moore, Santiago Merea for their unconditional support and encouragement throughout this year.
To all of our Patreon subscribers, for allowing this community to exist and thrive through their financial support and to each and every one of you reading this today. Much love to you all, feel free to reach out and stay in touch.
Happy holidays, see you in 2022.
Oracular Spectacular 👁️
Craving more you greedy snaxboi?
We curated 99 beautiful food and beverage products from around the world in Snax-a-palooza!
Check out our DOUBLE FEATURE, Oracular Spectacular, for 20 newly launched and upcoming brands.
Did we drop the hottest holiday guide in 2021? YES.
Check out our yearbook to celebrate Snax Class 2021, let us know what snax superlatives we missed!
Planning New Year resolutions? There’s a snax for that.
Spoonful of News 🥄
Home Dough launches just in time before Santa arrives, may we suggest you pair them with adaptogenic oat milk? LOL. Password: GOOEY, use our code SNACKONTHIS for 20% off your order.
HOORAY! Kellogg’s finally gave into worker demands after a 10-week strike!
TikTok is launching virtual restaurants in 2022 based on their viral recipes.
Grocery budgets are set to increase by 15% next year, settle in as we head to pandemic year 3!
Snax Concierge 🛎️
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🔮 Share with your friends and let them know forecasting trends is the new astrology: